Zoom on the Cat RP6500 E
In a nutshell, the Cat RP6500 E is a portable generator mostly geared towards:
- 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 able to use the most necessary devices in their household, even during a blackout
- 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 RP6500 E houses a 420 cc OHV 4-stroke engine, which provides 120/240V, consumes gasoline and delivers a running wattage of 6500W along with a peak wattage of 8125W.
This generator features a simple traditional pull-start mechanism, but also a simple and elegant electric starter (battery included).
With a full tank, the RP6500 E can operate for around 12 hours at 50% load (fuel consumption around 0.66 GPH), thanks to its fuel capacity of 7.9 gallons.
The control panel includes the following 6 AC outlets:
This Cat generator isn't quite RV Ready, but it features an L5-30R receptacle, allowing a simple RV connection through an L5-30P to TT-30R adaptor. Besides, due to the featured twist-lock L14-30R receptacle, the RP6500 E is transfer switch ready: you may connect it to a breaker box to power your household during a power outage.
With its dimensions of L32.9 x W27.4 x H24.7 in, the conventional, open frame design of the Cat RP6500 E offers stability and allows the generator 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 202 lbs make it incredibly difficult to manually lift and transport. Nevertheless, it can still be moved quite conveniently with the help of its wheel kit and its folding handle, once it is placed on the ground.
The RP6500 E's control center features a convenient meter showing you 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.
From a security standpoint, the product offers an overload protection (circuit breaker) and an automatic low oil shut-off, allowing you to use it with a peace of mind.
With the basic documentation and an owner's manual (opens in a new tab), letting you start the generator quickly, the Cat RP6500 E also comes with several accessories, including: tool kit, funnel and oil. An official storage cover is also available, as a separate purchase.
The Cat RP6500 E is EPA-approved and CARB-compliant. Thus, selling and purchasing this generator is allowed in each of the 50 states, including California.
Moreover, it features a spark arrestor and therefore, can be used in forested areas.
The Cat RP6500 E versus other generators
The following charts are provided to give you an idea of how some of the key specs of the Cat RP6500 E compare to generators of similar power (between 6000 and 7000 W).
- Having a dry weight of 202 lbs, the Cat RP6500 E belongs in the expected weight range for generators which produce 6000 to 7000 rated watts. If weight matters to you, one of the champions in this power range is the Sportsman GEN85KIDF with only 133 pounds.
- As the RP6500 E features an autonomy of around 12 hours at 50% load, it has a higher run time than an average generator of its power range. Concerning the run times, one of the several devices with a comparable output, offering the highest autonomy, is the Generac XC6500, which is able to run for around 14 hours.
- 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. In fact, this generator is not among the most fuel efficient, within the aforementioned wattage range : its estimated gasoline consumption at 50% load is around 0.66 GPH. If you wish to further improve in the area of fuel efficiency, the A-iPower SUA7000L, which boasts with a gas consumption of only 0.36 GPH, may be the right generator for you.
The bottom line
- Illuminated control panel
- Several accessories included
- GFCI Outlets
- Electric start
- High run time
- Decent weight (202 lbs)
- No remote start
- Low fuel efficiency
Features and Specifications
|Engine||420 cc OHV 4-stroke|
|Starting system||Recoil, Electric|
|Voltage||AC: 120/240V 60 Hz|
|Running watts||6500 W|
|Starting watts||8125 W|
|Running amps (@120/240V)||54.2/27.1 amps|
|Peak amps (@120/240V)||67.7/33.9 amps|
|Run time @50% load||12 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, battery, and wheel kit|
|Other model numbers||502-3688|
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. CAT portable generators are engineered and designed in Mossville, Illinois, and Belfast, Northern Ireland. However, their production is outsourced to China.
The Cat RP6500 E 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||Electric fry pan||1500||1500|
|Microwave (1000 watts)||1500||1500|
|AC (10,000 BTU)||1500||2200|
|Refrigerator (energy star)||192||1192|
|Total||5192 W||6192 W|
|For camping||RV AC (11,000 BTU)||1010||1600|
|Set of 5 LED light bulbs||55||55|
|Total||5195 W||5785 W|
|For work||Table saw||1800||4500|
|Air compressor (1 hp)||1600||6100|
|Total||3480 W||7980 W|
Can this generator run your home a/c and other small appliances at the same time? (Asked June 09, 2020)
Considering that it is recommended to not exceed an 80% load, this unit can run for 5200W (6500*0.8) worth of appliances at the same time. While this should normally be plenty for what you mentioned, you'd need to know the actual wattage needs of your own a/c and appliances. Feel free to use our wattage calculator to help you assess your power needs, as it allows you to add custom appliances.
is it rain proof (Asked August 28, 2021)
The unit should be properly sheltered. We recommend reading our article on generator operation in bad weather.
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