Zoom on the Cat RP6500 E
In a nutshell, the Cat RP6500 E is a portable generator mostly geared towards:
- Food van owners who know that just a short power outage could lose them hundreds of dollars
- Homeowners who want to be sure of their ability to power their fridges, cooking tools, heating and lighting equipment during power failures
- Professionals in need of safely powering high-intensity work or lighting equipment
In the sections ahead, the power characteristics, availability of various outlets, the portability, and any additional features of the device shall be discussed, including its emission compliance information.
Power & Run Time
The Cat RP6500 E's design includes a gasoline-fueled 420 cc OHV 4-stroke engine. With a 120/240V output, it gives a running wattage of 6500W and also a peak wattage of 8125W.
This generator can be started via a conventional pull-start mechanism, or a simple and elegant electric starter (battery included).
The fuel capacity of 7.9 gallons allows the RP6500 E to operate for around 12 hours at 50% load with a full tank (fuel consumption around 0.66 GPH).
The control panel provides the upcoming 6 AC outlets:
Even though this Cat generator isn't quite RV Ready, its L5-30R receptacle allows an easy RV connection via an L5-30P to TT-30R adaptor. Besides, as it features a twist-lock L14-30R receptacle, the RP6500 E is transfer switch ready: in case of a power outage, you will be easily able to connect it to a breaker box and power your household.
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 featured design is ideal for the outdoors and all tough 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 status and activity may be monitored conveniently via the control panel, as it features 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 includes a built-in fuel gauge, a quick, easy and convenient method of checking the device’s gas level.
As far as security is concerned, the generator can be used with a peace of mind, as it features an overload protection (circuit breaker) and an automatic low oil shut-off.
Apart from the typical documentation and an owner's manual (opens in a new tab), which lets you start it right away, the Cat RP6500 E also is packed along with the following accessories: tool kit, oil and funnel. An official storage cover is also available, as a separate purchase.
The Cat RP6500 E is EPA-approved and CARB-compliant. It can therefore be sold and purchased in all 50 states, including California.
Moreover, it features a spark arrestor, so it is adequate for use 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).
- At a weight of 202 pounds, the Cat RP6500 E places in the expected weight range of the generators in the 6000-7000 rated wattage range. In terms of weight, one of the champions in their power range is the Sportsman GEN85KIDF, standing at just 133 lbs.
- 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. 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.
- Run times are important, yet thanks to their dependence on the fuel capacity, they should be judged along with the fuel consumption of the device. 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 fuel consumption is your top priority, we suggest to check out the Lifan ESI 7000iER-EFI, which has a fuel consumption of only 0.38 GPH and thus, is one of the most efficient devices in our database.
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
- 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|
|Peaks 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. 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 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.
Couldn't find the right answer for you? Ask your own question.