Get this unit while stocks last, because Caterpillar discontinued its production.
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).
- 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.
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
- In the expected price range
- Illuminated control panel
- Several accessories included
- GFCI Outlets
- Electric start
- High run time
- Decent weight (202 lbs)
- Decent fuel efficiency
- No remote start
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|
|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||Sump pump (1/2 hp)||1050||2150|
|Furnace fan (1/2 hp)||875||2350|
|Refrigerator (energy star)||192||1192|
|Set of 5 LED light bulbs||55||55|
|Total||5172 W||6647 W|
|For camping||Radiant heater||1300||1300|
|Total||5180 W||5600 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.
Couldn't find the right answer for you? Ask your own question.