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Cat RP5500 - Spec Review

The Cat RP5500 is a portable open frame generator with a rated wattage of 5500 W and a starting wattage of 6875 W.

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Cat RP5500Cat RP5500Cat RP5500Cat RP5500

Get this unit while stocks last, because Caterpillar discontinued its production.

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Price History
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Price history for the Cat RP5500
Latest updates:
  • $1,227.24 - December 25, 2021
  • $1,032.66 - December 22, 2021
Data source: ebay.com
Since: December 22, 2021
  • Highest Price: $1,227.24 - December 25, 2021
  • Lowest Price: $1,032.66 - December 22, 2021

Description

THE PERFECT MULTI-USE GENERATOR. This handy generator brings all of the power you need to take care of both play and home needs. Versatile enough to run your motorhome's microwave, fridge, fans, and TV or keep your home's fridge, freezer, washing machine, security system, and water heater working. We've designed our portable generators with your safety in mind. Recessed sockets and water protected covers keep vital connections between your valuable devices and the generator dry. We've also installed ground fault circuit interrupters (GFCI) that shut off the power if it detects an issue in order to keep you safe. All the vital information you need to operate your portable generator in a single display: voltage in use, frequency (Hz), current runtime in hours and total hours ran. (source: Cat (opens in a new tab))

Zoom on the Cat RP5500

In summary, the Cat RP5500 is a portable generator especially useful for:

  • RV travellers who wish to upgrade their experience to another level
  • People occasionally participating in outdoor fairs, festivals or events
  • Food truck owners who want to ensure that their business is fully self-contained and does not rely on potentially unreliable external power
  • Homeowners who want to be sure of their ability to power their fridges, cooking tools, heating and lighting equipment during power failures
  • Professionals who want to be able to deliver results, even during a power failure

The following sections will present you in detail its power characteristics, the different outlets it offers, its overall portability, the extra features it benefits from, and any relevant emission compliance details.

Power & Run Time

The Cat RP5500 in use

The Cat RP5500

The Cat RP5500's engine, 300 cc OHV 4-stroke, fueled by gasoline, can deliver 120/240V. It provides a running wattage of 5500W and reaches a peak wattage of 6875W.

Its starting mechanism is based on a conventional pull-start mechanism.

The RP5500 can operate for around 15 hours at 50% load with a full tank (fuel consumption around 0.53 GPH), due to its fuel capacity of 7.9 gallons.

Outlets

The control panel provides the upcoming 5 AC outlets:

Two Duplexes 120V 20A (5-20R) GFCI
120/240V 30A (L14-30R) receptacle

As it features a twist-lock L14-30R receptacle, the RP5500 is transfer switch ready: in case of a power outage, you will be easily able to connect it to a breaker box and power your household.

Portability

With its dimensions of L32.9 x W27.4 x H24.7 in, the conventional, open frame design of the Cat RP5500 offers stability and allows the generator to be raised above ground level. The featured design is ideal for the outdoors and all tough environments.

Although this generator is technically considered 'portable' (in the sense that it can be moved), its 178 lbs make it incredibly difficult to manually lift and transport. Still, once it is on the ground, its wheel kit and its folding handle can easily solve the issue of low mobility and allow for easy relocation of the device.

Features

Panel of the Cat RP5500

The RP5500's control panel

The RP5500's status and activity may be monitored conveniently via the control panel, as it features a convenient meter showing you voltage, frequency and lifetime hours. To offer you even more control and easy operation during night time, the panel is LED-lit.

Thanks to a built-in fuel gauge, the generator allows you to quickly, conveniently and easily check the gas level at a glance.

Security-wise, this product benefits from an overload protection (circuit breaker) and an automatic low oil shut-off, which gives you a complete peace of mind when using it.

While the standard documentation and an owner's manual (opens in a new tab), helpful for starting the device promptly, come with the Cat RP5500, the following accessories are also included: oil, funnel and tool kit. An official storage cover is also available, as a separate purchase.

Emissions

The Cat RP5500 is EPA-approved and CARB-compliant. Therefore, its sale and purchase are permitted in all of the 50 states, including California.

Moreover, it features a spark arrestor, which makes it suitable for use in forested areas.

Product Videos

The Cat RP5500 versus other generators

The following charts are provided to give you an idea of how some of the key specs of the Cat RP5500 compare to generators of similar power (between 5000 and 6000 W).

  • Having a dry weight of 178 lbs, the Cat RP5500 belongs in the expected weight range for generators which produce 5000 to 6000 rated watts. Regarding dry weight, one of the champions in the same power range is the WEN GN6000, with a dry weight of only 119 lbs.
  • As the RP5500 features an autonomy of around 15 hours at 50% load, it has one of the highest run times in comparison to the other generators of its power range.
  • Autonomy holds its importance, however, it is largely dependent on the generator’s fuel capacity and so, it is nonsensible to discuss it without mentioning fuel efficiency as well. This generator reaches an estimated fuel consumption of 0.53 GPH (gallon per hour) at a 50% load, making it average, for the previously mentioned wattage range. If fuel consumption is your top priority, we suggest to check out the A-iPower SUA7000L, which has a fuel consumption of only 0.36 GPH and thus, is one of the most efficient devices in our database.

Price comparison

As you can see from this interactive chart, when compared to other 5000-6000W generators, the Cat RP5500 is on the average side of the price range.

Therefore, this generator nicely fits in the expected budget for this kind of product.

The bottom line

STRENGTHS:
  • In the expected price range
  • Illuminated control panel
  • Several accessories included
  • GFCI Outlets
  • High run time
AVERAGE SPECS:
  • Decent weight (178 lbs)
  • Decent fuel efficiency
WEAKNESSES:
  • No electric start

Do you own the Cat RP5500 and agree (or disagree) with these strengths and weaknesses?

Let us know and write your own review.

Features and Specifications

General
InverterNo
PortableYes
Parallel capableNo
RV readyNo
FuelGasoline
Engine300 cc OHV 4-stroke
Starting systemRecoil
Power
VoltageAC: 120/240V 60 Hz
Running watts5500 W
Starting watts6875 W
Running amps (@120/240V)45.8/22.9 amps
Peak amps (@120/240V)57.3/28.6 amps
Run time @50% load15 h
Run time @25% loadUnknown
Features
GFCI outletsYes
Covered outletsYes
Automatic Voltage RegulationYes
AC outlets
  • 2x Duplex 120V 20A (5-20R) GFCI
  • 1x 120/240V 30A (L14-30R)
DC outletsNo
Data centerVFT
IndicatorsNo
Fuel tankMetal, 7.9 gal
Fuel gaugeYes
Misc
Weight178 lbs
Approx. dimensions (L x W x H)32.9 x 27.4 x 24.7 in
Noise (lower limit)Unknown
THDUnknown
EmissionsCARB, EPA
SecurityLow oil and overload protection
Spark arrestorYes
NeutralBonded to frame
Accessories includedOil, funnel, tool kit, and wheel kit
Warranty2 years
Other model numbers502-3686

Unlike many websites, we did our best to research each of the specs above. That being said, we are not immune to making the occasional mistake or omission. Should you notice any missing or incorrect values, don't hesitate to suggest improvements so we can address the issue.

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About Cat

Caterpillar Inc., often abbreviated as simply CAT, is an American engineering corporation, whose product range includes machinery, engines, financial products, mobile phones and of course, power generators. The company, founded in 1925, is one of the backbones of the US Dow Jones index and is placed among the Fortune 500 list. While CAT mainly focuses on industrial scale generators, it also provides a wide range of portable and household-scaled devices. CAT portable generators are engineered and designed in Mossville, Illinois, and Belfast, Northern Ireland. However, their production is outsourced to China.

Warranty Information

The Cat RP5500 is covered under a warranty for up to 2 years. This warranty may be limited and may not cover all parts of the generator.
For more information about the warranty of Cat generators, please consult Cat's warranty policies (opens in a new tab). Alternatively, you can also contact their Customer Support: 1-844-PWR-ME-UP (844-797-6387).

Questions & Answers

What can it power?
Examples of items that can be simultaneously powered.
The examples below are based on a maximum load of 80% and estimated wattages. For a more accurate estimation, use our wattage calculator.
ItemRunning WattsStarting Watts
At homeSump pump (1/2 hp)10502150
Furnace fan (1/2 hp)8752350
Refrigerator (energy star)1921192
Electric range21002100
Security system180180
Total4397 W5872 W
For campingRadiant heater13001300
RV refrigerator180600
Hair dryer18001900
RV AC (11,000 BTU)10101600
Radio100100
Total4390 W4980 W
For workTable saw18004500
Grinder14002500
Reciprocating saw730960
Bug zapper8080
Total4010 W6710 W
What are the red brackets mounted from the engine to the frame for? Why does it say to take off and discard? Can I keep them to reinstall during transport? If I leave them on for normal operation will it mess up generator, void warranty. Please note, I have not started the generator with red brackets still on engine. (Asked October 11, 2020)

These brackets are for additional stabilization during shipping/transport. They should be removed as indicated, as continuously running your unit with them still on could, according to CAT, cause damage to the unit.

Is my cat rp 5500 water proof? If it gets wet with rain in the outside will it get damaged? (Asked June 11, 2021)

The unit is not waterproof and should not be operated in the rain. We recommend reading our articles on generator operation in bad weather and generator safety.

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