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Cat RP5500 Spec Review

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

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Price history for the Cat RP5500
Latest updates:
  • $809.10 - August 7, 2020
  • $899.00 - July 28, 2020
Data source: ebay.com
Since: July 28, 2020
  • Highest Price: $899.00 - July 28, 2020
  • Lowest Price: $809.10 - August 7, 2020

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 wishing to enhance their freedom and nomad lifestyle
  • Occasional participants of outdoor events, competitions, concerts and festivals
  • Food van owners who know that just a short power outage could lose them hundreds of dollars
  • Homeowners in need of an emergency backup power for their essentials
  • Professionals who want to ensure that a power failure will not prevent them from working

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.

The generator features a conventional pull-start mechanism.

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

Outlets

The control panel includes the following 5 AC outlets:

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

Since the RP5500 bears a twist-lock L14-30R receptacle, it is transfer switch ready: it is easily connectible to a breaker box and can power your home in case of a power outage.

Portability

The Cat RP5500 has a conventional, open frame design, of the following dimensions: L32.9 x W27.4 x H24.7 in, which offers support and allows it to be raised above ground level. The generator is designed for ideal use outdoors and in rough 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. However, this lack of maneuverability is compensated by its wheel kit and its folding handle, with which you can conveniently shift it, once it's on the ground.

Features

Panel of the Cat RP5500

The RP5500's control panel

The RP5500's control center features a convenient meter, which displays voltage, frequency and lifetime hours to aid you with the monitoring of its status and activity. To offer you even more control and easy operation during night time, the panel is LED-lit.

A built-in fuel gauge allows for a quick, easy and convenient check of the fuel level of the generator.

As far as security is concerned, the generator can be used with a peace of mind, as it features an automatic low oil shut-off and an overload protection (circuit breaker).

Besides the classic documentation and an owner's manual (opens in a new tab) to get you promptly started, the Cat RP5500 also comes with some accessories: oil, funnel and tool kit are included.

Emissions

The Cat RP5500 is EPA-approved and CARB-compliant. It can therefore be sold and purchased in all 50 states, including California.

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

Product Video

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).

  • As its weight is 178 pounds, the Cat RP5500 falls in the expected weight range of the devices in the 5000-6000 rated wattage category. Regarding dry weight, one of the champions in the same power range is the Westinghouse WGen5300v, with a dry weight of only 107 lbs.
  • The RP5500 provides one of the highest run time among similarly powerful devices, reaching around 15 hours at 50% load.
  • 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. With an estimated gasoline consumption of 0.53 GPH (gallon per hour) at 50% load, this generator is among the more fuel efficient of the products in the above-mentioned wattage range. If you wish to acquire one of the most gasoline efficient products of this power range, the Westinghouse WGen5300v, with a fuel consumption of 0.35 GPH could be in your good books.

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
  • Several accessories included
  • GFCI Outlets
  • High run time
  • Fuel efficient
AVERAGE SPECS:
  • Decent weight (178 lbs)
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
Peaks amps (@120/240V)57.3/28.6 amps
Run time @50% load15 h
Run time @25% loadN/A
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)N/A
THDN/A
EmissionsCARB, EPA
SecurityLow oil and overload protection
Spark arrestorYes
NeutralBonded to frame
Accessories includedOil, funnel and tool 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.

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. A majority of the industrial-scale CAT products is made in the USA. However, the production of many of their household products is reported to be outsourced overseas.

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 homeAC (10,000 BTU)15002200
Dish washer15003000
Sump pump (1/2 hp)10502150
Refrigerator (energy star)1921192
Radio100100
Set of 5 LED light bulbs5555
Total4397 W5897 W
For campingRV AC (11,000 BTU)10101600
RV refrigerator180600
Hair dryer18001900
Radiant heater13001300
Radio100100
Total4390 W4980 W
For workTable saw18004500
Grinder14002500
Reciprocating saw730960
Bug zapper8080
Total4010 W6710 W

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