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Cat RP5500 Spec Review

Picture 1 of the Cat RP5500
Picture 2 of the Cat RP5500
Picture 3 of the Cat RP5500
Picture 4 of the Cat RP5500

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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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)

Zoom on the Cat RP5500

In a nutshell, the Cat RP5500 is a portable generator mostly geared towards:

  • RV travellers wishing to enhance their freedom and nomad lifestyle
  • 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

In the following paragraphs, we shall explore the power characteristics, available outlets, portability and any additional features of the device, along with its emission compliance parameters.

Power & Run Time

The Cat RP5500 in use

The Cat RP5500

The Cat RP5500's build contains a gasoline-fueled 300 cc OHV 4-stroke engine. With a 120/240V output, it gives a running wattage of 5500W and also a peak wattage of 6875W.

The generator features a conventional pull-start mechanism.

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

Here are a few examples of what this generator could allow you to simultaneously power:Note: All of these devices might not start simultaneously. Provided examples are based on a maximum load of 75 % and estimated wattages. With the help of our wattage calculator you can find out if this product suits your requirements.

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 dimensions of the Cat RP5500, which are L32.9 x W27.4 x H24.7 in, and its typical, open frame design provides stability and enables the generator to be raised above ground level. The design is ideal for rough environments and demanding outdoor use.

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. Never less, thanks to a wheel kit and a folding handle (a decent solution to its lack of maneuverability), the generator can be easily moved, once placed the ground.

Features

Panel of the Cat RP5500

The RP5500's control panel

The control panel of the RP5500 includes a convenient meter, which displays voltage, frequency and lifetime hours, helpful for 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 for its security measures, the device features an overload protection (circuit breaker) and an automatic low oil shut-off, letting you use it with a peace of mind.

While the standard documentation and a user manual, helpful for starting the device promptly, come with the Cat RP5500, the following accessories are also included: funnel, tool kit and oil.

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, making it usable in forested areas.

Product Video

Video of the Cat RP5500

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 Champion 100519, with a dry weight of only 121 lbs.
  • Since the RP5500 boasts with a run time of 15 hours at 50% load, it can be safely judged as a device of a higher run time than most generators of a comparable output.
  • While the run time is an important parameter, it is dependent on the fuel tank’s capacity and thus, doesn’t say much on its own unless we consider fuel consumption as well. This generator is one of the more fuel efficient models of the aforementioned output range, as its estimated fuel consumption reaches just 0.53 GPH (gallon per hour) at 50% load. If you wish to acquire one of the most gasoline efficient products of this power range, the Westinghouse WGen5500, with a fuel consumption of 0.44 GPH could be in your good books.

Price comparison

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

It can therefore be a really good buy if you're looking to acquire a budget generator.

The bottom line

STRENGTHS:
  • Inexpensive
  • Several accessories included
  • 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.

Where to buy the Cat RP5500?

You can easily buy your Cat generator online. You will benefit from a convenient delivery and avoid carrying the heavy package yourself. Here are a few reliable online sellers:
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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 outlets2x 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
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 includedTool kit, funnel and oil
Warranty2 years

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. Alternatively, you can also contact their Customer Support: 1-844-PWR-ME-UP (844-797-6387).

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