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 who want to be able to deliver results, even during a power failure
Power & Run Time
The Cat RP6500 E's engine, 420 cc OHV 4-stroke, fueled by gasoline, can deliver 120/240V. It provides a running wattage of 6500W and reaches a peak wattage of 8125W.
This generator can be started thanks to a simple traditional pull-start mechanism, but also to a convenient and easy-to-use 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 features an L5-30R receptacle, enabling an easy RV connection via an L5-30P to TT-30R adaptor. However, it is still not quite RV ready. Besides, because the RP6500 E is equipped with a twist-lock L14-30R receptacle, it is transfer switch ready: it can power your home during a power outage, as it can be easily connected to your breaker box to power your household.
The Cat RP6500 E has the following dimensions: L32.9 x W27.4 x H24.7 in. In combination with its conventional, open frame design, they provide support and allow the generator to be raised above ground level. This type of design is ideal for tough environments and heavy outdoor use.
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, thanks to its wheel kit and its folding handle (a decent solution to its lack of maneuverability), the generator can be easily moved, once placed the ground.
To help you monitor the RP6500 E'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 an owner's manual (opens in a new tab), useful for starting the generator right away, the Cat RP6500 E's package also includes these accessories: 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 thus, may 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 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
- 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|
|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||AC (10,000 BTU)||1500||2200|
|Electric fry pan||1500||1500|
|Refrigerator (energy star)||192||1192|
|Total||5192 W||6692 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.
Couldn't find the right answer for you? Ask your own question.