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Cat RP6500 E Spec Review

The Cat RP6500 E is a portable open frame generator with a rated wattage of 6500 W and a starting wattage of 8125 W.

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Cat RP6500 ECat RP6500 ECat RP6500 E

Get this unit while stocks last, because Caterpillar discontinued its production.

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Description

A GREAT SOLUTION FOR LIGHT COMMERCIAL OR RESIDENTIAL NEEDS. This electric start generator, is a good option for keeping your business or home up and running. Cat portable generators are equipped with electric starters and lithium ion batteries that automatically recharge whenever the generator is running. Our power will be ready when you are. A single-side, LED-lit panel contains all of the power outlets and controls in one intuitively-designed location, including the start/stop switch, choke, and fuel shutoff switch. (source: Cat (opens in a new tab))

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 in use

The Cat RP6500 E

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.

Outlets

The control panel includes the following 6 AC outlets:

Two Duplexes 120V 20A (5-20R) GFCI
120/240V 30A (L14-30R) receptacle
120V 30A (L5-30R) receptacle

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.

Portability

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.

Features

Panel of the Cat RP6500 E

The RP6500 E's control panel

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.

Emissions

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.

Product Video

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).

  • Since the generator weighs in at a dry weight of 202 lbs, the Cat RP6500 E belongs in the expected weight range for devices which can produce between 6000 and 7000 rated watts. In terms of weight, one of the champions in their power range is the Sportsman GEN85KIDF, standing at just 133 lbs.
  • Thanks to an impressive running time of around 12 hours at 50% load, the RP6500 E benefits from a higher run time than many generators of a similar output. Furthermore, considering the run times, one of the generators which have a roughly same power output, with the highest autonomy, is the Generac XC6500, as it provides around 14 hours.
  • 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 reaches an estimated fuel consumption of 0.66 GPH (gallon per hour) at a 50% load, making it average, for the previously mentioned wattage range. If you wish to acquire one of the most gasoline efficient products of this power range, the Lifan ESI 7000iER-EFI, with a fuel consumption of 0.38 GPH could be in your good books.

Price comparison

As you can see from this interactive chart, when compared to other 6000-7000W generators, the Cat RP6500 E 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
  • Illuminated control panel
  • Several accessories included
  • GFCI Outlets
  • Electric start
  • High run time
AVERAGE SPECS:
  • Decent weight (202 lbs)
  • Decent fuel efficiency
WEAKNESSES:
  • No remote start

Do you own the Cat RP6500 E 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
Engine420 cc OHV 4-stroke
Starting systemRecoil, Electric
Power
VoltageAC: 120/240V 60 Hz
Running watts6500 W
Starting watts8125 W
Running amps (@120/240V)54.2/27.1 amps
Peak amps (@120/240V)67.7/33.9 amps
Run time @50% load12 h
Run time @25% loadUnknown
Features
GFCI outletsYes
Covered outletsYes
Automatic Voltage RegulationYes
AC outlets
  • 2x Duplex 120V 20A (5-20R) GFCI
  • 1x 120/240V 30A (L14-30R)
  • 1x 120V 30A (L5-30R)
DC outletsNo
Data centerVFT
IndicatorsNo
Fuel tankMetal, 7.9 gal
Fuel gaugeYes
Misc
Weight202 lbs
Approx. dimensions (L x W x H)32.9 x 27.4 x 24.7 in
Noise (lower limit)Unknown
THDUnknown
EmissionsCARB, EPA
SecurityLow oil and overload protection
Spark arrestorYes
NeutralBonded to frame
Accessories includedOil, funnel, tool kit, battery, and wheel kit
Warranty2 years
Other model numbers502-3688

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.

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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. CAT portable generators are engineered and designed in Mossville, Illinois, and Belfast, Northern Ireland. However, their production is outsourced to China.

Warranty Information

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?
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 generator sizer.
ItemRunning WattsStarting Watts
At homeSump pump (1/2 hp)10502150
Furnace fan (1/2 hp)8752350
Refrigerator (energy star)1921192
Electric range21002100
Washing machine9001650
Set of 5 LED light bulbs5555
Total5172 W6647 W
For campingRadiant heater13001300
RV refrigerator180600
Hair dryer18001900
Electric grill16501650
Satelite receiver250250
Total5180 W5600 W
For workTable saw18004500
Air compressor (1 hp)16006100
Bug zapper8080
Total3480 W7980 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.

Couldn't find the right answer for you? Ask your own question.

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Cat RP6500 E
5.1 Total Score
5 reviews
Add your review
Price
5
Value
5
Quality
5.2
Performance
5
5 Reviews
Show all Most Helpful Highest Rating Lowest Rating Add your review
  1. Avatar
    Spencer Castleberry October 20, 2020 at 6:42 pm
    1.5
    Price
    30
    Value
    30
    Quality
    30
    Performance
    30

    The pull start assembly broke after the 5th pull. Now I have to wrap the rope around the thingamajig to pull start it and it’s not really electric start.
    Very disappointed for $1100 investment.

    + PROS:
    • Runs good
    - CONS:
    • The windings in the pull start broke after the 5th time I cranked. Now I have to physically wrap the pull rope around the think to pull start it
    Helpful(6) Unhelpful(6)You have already voted this
  2. 0.5
    Price
    10
    Value
    10
    Quality
    10
    Performance
    10

    Used one time. Now won’t start. Carb keeps flooding. Piece of crap

    + PROS:
    • None
    - CONS:
    • Won’t start
    Helpful(1) Unhelpful(0)You have already voted this
  3. 4.25
    Price
    80
    Value
    80
    Quality
    90
    Performance
    90

    Use to run Hobart 210 MVP welder. Powered house for 5 days after storm. No problems. 3 years in use.

    + PROS:
    • Long running, starts first pull every time, Hour meter, volt meter, fuel gauge.
    - CONS:
    • Its heavy but thats what i expected.
    Helpful(3) Unhelpful(0)You have already voted this
  4. 4.4
    Price
    70
    Value
    80
    Quality
    100
    Performance
    100

    Bought it on sale, using it for my home for power loss after storms.

    + PROS:
    • Came with multi port (4 outlets) 120v plugs for the 240v twist lock
    • Easy pull start (my wife was able to start it with a little instructions)
    • Performed great for all my needs
    - CONS:
    • A little louder than i expected.
    Helpful(1) Unhelpful(0)You have already voted this
  5. 2
    Price
    60
    Value
    50
    Quality
    30
    Performance
    20

    Mine ran fine for 90 hours intermittenly and then it would not start. Would not recommend after I tookk to repair facility for warranty repair, it needs another engine. Cheap Chinese made junk.

    + PROS:
    • None
    - CONS:
    • Engine died after 90 hours of use
    • Warranty Service leaves a little to be desired
    Helpful(0) Unhelpful(0)You have already voted this

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