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
- People occasionally participating in sporting competitions, open-air performances and outdoor festivals
- 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 ensure that a power failure will not prevent them from working
Power & Run Time
The Cat RP5500's core is the 300 cc OHV 4-stroke engine, which runs on gasoline. With an output of 120/240V, it provides a running wattage of 5500W and a peak wattage of 6875W.
This generator features a simple traditional pull-start mechanism.
With a full tank, the RP5500 can operate for around 15 hours at 50% load (fuel consumption around 0.53 GPH), thanks to its fuel capacity of 7.9 gallons.
The control panel features the following 5 AC outlets:
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.
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. This type of design is ideal for tough environments and heavy outdoor use.
Since the generator weighs 178 lbs, it will be incredibly difficult to manually lift it and transport it, even though it is technically considered to 'be portable' (in the sense that it is movable). 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.
To help you monitor the RP5500's status and activity, its control panel is equipped with a convenient meter, which displays voltage, frequency and lifetime hours. To offer you even more control and easy operation during night time, the panel is LED-lit.
The fuel level of the generator can be determined quickly, easily, and conveniently with the help of its built-in fuel gauge.
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 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: tool kit, oil and funnel. An official storage cover is also available, as a separate purchase.
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, so it is adequate for use in forested areas.
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. If weight matters to you, one of the champions in this power range is the WEN GN6000 with only 119 pounds.
- Since the RP5500 boasts with a run time of around 15 hours at 50% load, it can be safely judged as one of the devices with the highest run time among those of a comparable output.
- The run time is important, but also hugely depends on the capacity of the fuel tank and doesn't mean much if we don't talk about fuel consumption as well. This generator can be considered as fuel efficient, due to its low estimated fuel consumption of only 0.53 GPH (gallon per hour) at 50% load, within the aforementioned 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.
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
- In the expected price range
- Several accessories included
- GFCI Outlets
- High run time
- Fuel efficient
- Decent weight (178 lbs)
- No electric start
Features and Specifications
|Engine||300 cc OHV 4-stroke|
|Voltage||AC: 120/240V 60 Hz|
|Running watts||5500 W|
|Starting watts||6875 W|
|Running amps (@120/240V)||45.8/22.9 amps|
|Peaks amps (@120/240V)||57.3/28.6 amps|
|Run time @50% load||15 h|
|Run time @25% load||Unknown|
|Automatic Voltage Regulation||Yes|
|AC outlets|| |
|Fuel tank||Metal, 7.9 gal|
|Approx. dimensions (L x W x H)||32.9 x 27.4 x 24.7 in|
|Noise (lower limit)||Unknown|
|Security||Low oil and overload protection|
|Neutral||Bonded to frame|
|Accessories included||Oil, funnel, tool kit, and wheel kit|
|Other model numbers||502-3686|
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.
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.
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?
|Item||Running Watts||Starting Watts|
|At home||Sump pump (1/2 hp)||1050||2150|
|Furnace fan (1/2 hp)||875||2350|
|Refrigerator (energy star)||192||1192|
|Total||4397 W||5872 W|
|For camping||Radiant heater||1300||1300|
|RV AC (11,000 BTU)||1010||1600|
|Total||4390 W||4980 W|
|For work||Table saw||1800||4500|
|Total||4010 W||6710 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.
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