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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 looking for even more independence
  • Homeowners in need of an emergency backup power for their essentials
  • Professionals in need of safely powering high-intensity work or lighting equipment

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 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 offers the possibility to start the device via 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).

Outlets

The control panel features the following 5 AC outlets:

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

As the RP5500 holds a twist-lock L14-30R receptacle, it is transfer switch ready: you'll easily be able to connect it to your breaker box to power your home during a power outage.

Portability

The design of the Cat RP5500 is a typical, open frame, with the dimensions of L32.9 x W27.4 x H24.7 in, offering support and stability and enabling the possibility of raising it 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). Still, once it is on the ground, a wheel kit and a 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

To help you monitor the RP5500's status and activity, its control panel is equipped with 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.

The generator allows for a quick, easy and convenient assessment of its gas level, as it is equipped with a built-in fuel gauge.

As for its security measures, the device features an automatic low oil shut-off and an overload protection (circuit breaker), letting you use it with a peace of mind.

Along the basic documentation and a user manual, useful for starting the generator right away, the Cat RP5500's package also includes these accessories: 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. If you are concerned by weight, one of the champions in the above mentioned power range is the Champion 100519, with a dry weight of just 121 pounds.
  • Thanks to an impressive running time of around 15 hours at 50% load, the RP5500 benefits from one of the highest run time of generators of a similar output.
  • Even though run times are undoubtedly important, they are dependent on the fuel capacity to a large extent. For a more wholesome picture, we must take into consideration the fuel consumption of the generator. 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.

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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