3 Best CAT Generators Reviews

CAT or Caterpillar Inc. is an American Engineering Company. It is a well-known brand in the power industry where it makes industrial-scale generators and portable generators widely used to meet indoor and outdoor power needs.

CAT portable generators include both inverter and conventional generators. These machines are durable, reliable, and available at affordable prices.

So, if you need a generator for personal use, go through the following generators to select the best one that meets your needs.

CAT Generator Reviews





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CAT RP3600 Portable Generator

  • 13.5 hours runtime

  • 4.5 gallons fuel tank

  • 2 years warranty

CAT RP12000E Portable Generator

  • 13.2 gallons fuel tank

  • 11.5 hours runtime

  • LCD display

CAT INV2000 Portable Inverter Generator

  • 1 gallon fuel tank

  • 6 hours runtime load

  • Recoil start system

1. CAT RP3600 Portable Generator – RV-Ready Generator

CAT portable generator

Weight and Warranty: CAT RP3600 weighs around 125 pounds and offers a 2-year limited warranty.

Engine and Power Output: It has a 212cc 4-stroke OHV engine, which delivers 4500 watts of starting power and 3600 watts of running power.

With this power output, RV owners can easily power two big RV appliances at the same time. Also, homeowners can run both small and large appliances simultaneously.

Recommended Oil: You can use SAE 30 or 10W-30 to keep the engine in good working condition. 

Automatic Voltage Regulation: CAT RP3600 comes with an automated voltage regulation system. It stabilizes the voltage to protect your electronics and appliances from damages. 

Fuel Tank Size and Runtime: Its fuel tank can accommodate up to 4.5 gallons of gasoline. With a full tank and half load, you will get up to 13.5 hours of runtime.

Also, a built-in fuel gauge helps users keep an eye on the fuel level.

Starting Method: A conventional pull-start system 

Power Receptacles: The power panel of CAT RP3600 has four 120 Volt 20 Ampere (5-20R) outlets and one 120 Volt 30 Ampere (TT-30R) outlet. All the outlets available are rubber covered.

The availability of the TT-30R outlet makes it an RV-ready generator.

Digital Display: CAT RP3600 also has a LED-illuminated digital display that shows voltage, frequency, runtime, and lifetime run hours.

This helps users to monitor the status and activity of the generator.

Safety Features: Its safety features include low-oil and overload protection along with a spark arrestor.

The spark arrestor prevents dangerous sparks from coming out of the engine. This feature helps the RV owners as it allows them to use their generators in parks and forests.

Low-oil protection shuts down the engine when the oil level goes dangerously down. And the overload protection stops the engine operation when excessive load is applied.

Portability: It is a highly portable generator despite its 125 pounds weight. Its big, durable wheels and a folding handle make it easy to move. 

My Opinion:

Pros: CAT RP3600 is an RV-ready generator. It is available at an affordable price. It has a fuel-efficient engine, which offers higher runtime. Also, a digital LED display and several safety features make it a preferred choice for home and RV owners.

Cons: The electric start system must be there.

2. CAT RP12000E Portable Generator – Powerful Conventional Generator

CAT Conventional generator

Weight and Warranty: CAT RP12000E is a heavyweight generator weighing 348 pounds. And it comes with a 2-year limited warranty.

Engine and Power Output: A powerful 670cc V-Twin OHV engine delivers 15,000 peak watts and 12,000 rated watts.

You can use this generator to power your homes. Also, if you are a contractor or a DIY enthusiast, this generator is made for you.

Recommended Oil: It is recommended to use SAE 30 or 10W-30 motor oil.

Automatic Voltage Regulation: Because of AVR, its THD (Total Harmonic Distortion) rating is less than 5%, best suited for sensitive electronics.

THD measures the distortion amount present in a signal.

Fuel Tank Size and Runtime: Its 13.2-gallon fuel tank with a dial gauge gives 11.7 hours of runtime at half load.

Low-Idle Mode: This low-idle mode reduces the engine speed when there is no load.

Starting Method: Users can quickly start this generator because of the electric start mechanism.

Power Receptacles: CAT RP12000E has four 120 Volt 20 Ampere (5-20R) outlets, two 120 Volt 30 Ampere (L5-30) outlets, and one 120/240 Volt 30 Ampere (L14-30R) outlet along with one 120/240 Volt 50 Ampere (14-50R) outlet and one 12 Volt 8 Ampere DC outlet.

Users can easily connect your generator with a manual transfer switch through the L14-30R outlet.

Digital Display: It displays frequency, runtime, voltage, and lifetime run hours.

Safety Features: Overload protection, low-oil shutoff, and spark arrestor 

Portability: A lifting eye makes it easy to move on a construction site. Also, never-flat wheels and a drop-down handle allow easy movement on the ground. 

My Opinion:

Pros: CAT RP12000E has a powerful and fuel-efficient engine. It delivers massive power output, ideal to power whole house or construction sites. Also, it has a variety of power receptacles, an electric start system, and a lifting eye for easy movement. 

Cons: It is a heavier unit.

3. CAT INV2000 Portable Inverter Generator – Best Inverter Generator

CAT portable inverter generator

Weight and Warranty: It is a compact and lightweight machine that only weighs 48.8 pounds. Also, it has a warranty for two years.

Engine and Power Output: CAT INV2000 features a 79.7cc 4-stroke OHV engine. It generates 1800 running watts and 2250 starting watts.

With this power output, you can run small power tools/small home appliances/electronics.

Recommended Oil: SAE 30 or 10W-30 motor oil.

THD Rating: It produces a pure sine wave with less than a 3% THD rating. It allows users to power their delicate electronics without any hesitation.

Parallel Capability: CAT INV2000 is a parallel capable generator. It means you can connect another CAT INV2000 to increase the power output when required.

Fuel Tank Size and Runtime: A 1-gallon fuel tank with a dial gauge allows 6 hours of continuous operation at half load.

Engine Smart Control: With the engine smart control feature’s help, the engine changes its speed according to the load applied.

Starting Method: Only the recoil start method

Power Receptacles: It has two AC outlets and three DC outlets.

Two AC outlets include 120 Volt 20 Ampere (5-20R) outlets, and three DC outlets have one 12 Volt 8 Ampere outlet and two 5 Volt USB ports. 

Indicator Lights: CAT INV2000 has three indicator lights: low-oil, overload, and output ready.

Sound Level: It operates quietly between 51 and 61 dB (A), depending on the load.

Safety Features: Automatic low-oil shutoff and overload protection.

Portability: Its lightweight makes it a portable machine.

My Opinion:

Pros: CAT INV2000 is a lightweight inverter machine. It operates without making much noise. Also, it has GFCI outlets and is available at an affordable price.  

Cons: No data center is available. Also, the electric start mechanism is missing.

Buyer’s Guide

If you want to purchase a CAT generator, then you must look at the following features to get the best product according to your needs.

For What Purpose You Need a Generator?

First of all, ask yourself, for what purpose you need a generator? If it is for camping or tailgating, then you should go for CAT INV2000. It produces 1800 running watts, operates quietly, and features two 5-20R outlets, two 5 Volt USB ports, and one 12 Volt DC outlet.

If you want a unit for your RV, you can go for CAT RP3600. It is an RV-ready generator that delivers 4500 peak watts, and 3600 rated watts and offers 13.5 hours of runtime on a 4.5-gallon gasoline tank. Or, if you need more power for your RV, select CAT RP6500E.

For home usage, it is suggested to select CAT RP5500. It generates 6875 starting watts and 5500 running watts. It is a transfer switch ready unit to easily connect to your home’s manual transfer switch. Also, CAT RP6500E and CAT 7500E are best to power homes.

Or, if you need a Jobsite generator, CAT 7500E and RP12000E are the best available choices.


Runtime depends on various factors, which include load, tank size, and fuel-efficiency of a generator.

More giant fuel tanks give higher runtime. Generators with smaller fuel tanks also offer higher runtime if they have fuel-efficient engines. Also, runtime changes according to the applied load. A generator will give different runtime at 50% load than 75% and 100% load.


Power outlets also need consideration. Make sure your generator has at least two 120 Volt 20 Ampere (5-20R) outlets to power home appliances or other things. Or, if you need to connect your generator with a manual transfer switch, ensure your generator has an L14-30R outlet.

TT-30R outlet makes a generator RV-ready, so if you are an RV owner, your generator must have this. And For camping or tailgating, your generator must have a 12 Volt DC outlet along with a USB port.


CAT generators are portable. So, you can easily transport your generator.


Also, make sure your generator has an automatic low-oil shutdown and overload protection.

Many people forget to check the oil level regularly. When a generator senses that the oil level is going below the minimum level, it shuts off the engine to protect it from damages.

Also, many times, people apply extra load on their generators. Here, the overload protection (circuit breaker) comes in handy that turns off the engine to prevent overheating.


Are CAT generators both CARB and EPA certified?

Yes, most of their models are both EPA (Environmental Protection Agency), and CARB (California Air Resources Board) certified. Both these certifications mean use they are allowed to use in all 50 states of America. Only a few models are not allowed to use or ship to California because they do not have CARB certification.

What is meant by parallel capable?

Inverter generators have this parallel capability feature. It means that the generator allows you to connect another inverter generator of the same model or series to double the output power. With the help of parallel operation outlets and a parallel kit, you can easily connect two inverters to increase the output power at any time.

What is the warranty for CAT generators?

CAT portable generators come with a 2-year limited warranty. It can be extended to 3 years if you register yourself within 30 days of purchase.

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