Cummins Onan P4500i Spec Review

The Cummins Onan P4500i is a quiet and compact portable inverter generator with a rated wattage of 3700 W and a starting wattage of 4500 W.

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Picture of the Cummins Onan P4500i
Note: This unit is a rebranded version of the Westinghouse iGen4500.

Description

Zoom on the Cummins Onan P4500i

In summary, the Cummins Onan P4500i is a quiet and compact portable inverter generator especially useful for:

  • RV travellers who wish to upgrade their experience to another level
  • Occasional participants of outdoor events, competitions, concerts and festivals
  • Homeowners who want to be able to use the most necessary devices in their household, even during a blackout
  • Camping and tailgating buffs looking to enhance their experience

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 Cummins Onan P4500i in use

The Cummins Onan P4500i

The Cummins Onan P4500i's core is the 224 cc (7.3 hp) Ducar OHV 4-stroke engine, which runs on gasoline. With an output of 120V, it provides a running wattage of 3700W and a peak wattage of 4500W. Additionally, as the generator is parallel capable (A058M290 parallel kit (opens in a new tab) not included), it can be linked to a second unit for more power.

Enjoying a noise rating of 52 dBA (just slightly more noisy than a conversation at home), this inverter generator can be started thanks to a simple traditional pull-start mechanism, but also to a simple and elegant electric starter (battery included). The Onan P4500i can also be remotely started, offering further convenience (key fob included).

The fuel capacity of 3.4 gallons allows the Onan P4500i to operate for up to 18 hours with a full tank (fuel consumption around 0.19 GPH).

The Onan P4500i produces a clean sine wave: thanks to a <3% Total Harmonic Disruption (THD), your sensitive electronics can be safely plugged in the AC outlets.

Outlets

The control panel provides the upcoming 3 AC outlets:

Duplex 120V 20A (5-20R)
120V 30A (TT-30R) receptacle

Furthermore, it has 2 DC outlets: there's two 5V USB ports with which you may charge electronics, for example mobile phones or tablets, conveniently.

Thanks to its TT-30R receptacle (TT stands for 'Travel Trailer'), this Cummins generator is RV Ready.

Portability

The Cummins Onan P4500i is an inverter generator and has an encased design of the following dimensions: L24.5 x W18.3 x H20.5 in. Thus, it is more aesthetical than conventional, open frame products. The design follows the contemporary trends and is perfect for recreationally generating power.

The 98 lbs of the Onan P4500i's dry weight enables you to use it anywhere you will ever need. Moreover, once it’s on the ground, its wheel kit (⌀5.5") and its telecospic handle will allow you to shift it without effort.

Features

Panel of the Cummins Onan P4500i

The Onan P4500i's control panel

The control panel of the Onan P4500i includes a digital data center, which assists you in monitoring its status and activity, as it provides information on the lifetime run hours, fuel level, remaining run time, power output and voltage.

In addition to this info, the device’s light indicators will display if the generator is ready, the oil level is too low and the generator is overloaded.

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.

Apart from the typical documentation and an owner's manual (opens in a new tab), which lets you start it right away, the Cummins Onan P4500i also is packed along with the following accessories: key fob, tool kit, oil, funnel and battery charger. A storage cover is also available, as a separate purchase.

Emissions

The Cummins Onan P4500i 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.

Product Video

The Cummins Onan P4500i versus other generators

The following charts are provided to give you an idea of how some of the key specs of the Cummins Onan P4500i compare to generators of similar power (between 3500 and 4500 W).

  • Weight-wise, the Cummins Onan P4500i has only 98 lbs, which renders it one of the lighter generators which produce 3500 to 4500 rated watts. If weight matters to you, one of the champions in this power range is the WEN GN400i with only 66.1 pounds.
  • With a lowest noise rating of 52 dBA, the inverter generator is one of the most quiet of the generators of similar power.
  • Given that the Onan P4500i reaches an autonomy of up to 18 hours with a full tank and at 25% load, it is placed within the average autonomy range of similarly powerful generators. If concerned with autonomy, one of the products of a comparable power output, which offers the highest run time, is the Champion 200954, boasting with up to 22 hours.
  • Even though run times are undoubtedly important, they are dependent on the fuel capacity to a large extent. For a more wholesome picture, we must take into consideration the fuel consumption of the generator. This inverter generator has an average fuel consumption among comparably powerful devices, as it reaches 0.19 GPH (gallon per hour) at a 25% load. If not satisfied with the afore-mentioned fuel consumption, you may wish to check out the Westinghouse iGen4200. With a fuel consumption of as little as 0.14 GPH, it is one of the most efficient generators currently on the market.

Here's a list of the most popular specific comparisons:

The bottom line

STRENGTHS:
  • Several accessories included
  • RV Ready
  • Remote start
  • Parallel capable
  • Inverter
  • Lightweight for its kind (98 lbs)
  • Quiet for its power (52 dBA)
AVERAGE SPECS:
  • Decent run time
  • Decent fuel efficiency
WEAKNESSES:

The Cummins Onan P4500i doesn't have any notably low specs.

Do you own the Cummins Onan P4500i and agree (or disagree) with these strengths and weaknesses?

Let us know and write your own review.

Features and Specifications

General
InverterYes
PortableYes
Parallel capableYes, cable not included
RV readyYes
FuelGasoline
Engine224 cc Ducar OHV 4-stroke
Starting systemRecoil, Electric, Remote
Power
VoltageAC: 120V 60 Hz, DC: 5V
Running watts3700 W
Starting watts4500 W
Running amps30.8 amps
Peaks amps37.5 amps
Run time @50% load15 h
Run time @25% load18 h
Features
GFCI outletsNo
Covered outletsYes
Automatic Voltage RegulationInverter
AC outlets
  • 1x Duplex 120V 20A (5-20R)
  • 1x 120V 30A (TT-30R)
DC outlets2x 5V USB port
Data centerPower output, fuel level, lifetime run hours, remaining run time and voltage
IndicatorsLow oil, overload and output ready
Fuel tankSteel, 3.4 gal
Fuel gaugeDigital
Misc
Weight98 lbs
Approx. dimensions (L x W x H)24.5 x 18.3 x 20.5 in
Noise (lower limit)52 dBA
THD< 3%
EmissionsCARB, EPA
SecurityLow oil and overload protection
Spark arrestorYes
NeutralFloating
Accessories includedOil, funnel, tool kit, key fob, battery charger, and battery
Warranty3 years
Other model numbersA058U955

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.

About Cummins

Cummins is a NYSE publicly traded, Fortune 500 corporation dealing in the power sector and heavy industry. Founded in 1919 in Columbus, IN, by William Glanton Irwin and Clessie Cummings, Cummins focused on the development of diesel engines. However, the company truly came to bloom only after the WWII, with the nationwide road expansion and went finally global in the 1960s, with its heavy-duty trucks. Cummins has, over the years, offered a wide variety of power solutions, from actual power plants to RV generators. Yet, the company has only recently dipped its foot into the portable generator market. The company currently offers a small selection of both conventional and inverter generators under the Onan product line, formerly the Cummins Onan brand.

Warranty Information

The Cummins Onan P4500i is covered under a warranty for up to 3 years. This warranty may be limited and may not cover all parts of the generator.
For more information about the warranty of Cummins generators, please contact the Cummins Customer Support: 1-800-CUMMINS (800-286-6467).

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 size calculator.
ItemRunning WattsStarting Watts
At homeRefrigerator (energy star)1921192
Hair dryer18001900
Washing machine9001650
Set of 5 LED light bulbs5555
Total2947 W3947 W
For campingRadiant heater13001300
RV refrigerator180600
RV AC (11,000 BTU)10101600
Blender400850
Set of 5 LED light bulbs5555
Total2945 W3535 W
For workGrinder14002500
Demolition hammer12601260
Electric fence (25 miles)250250
Total2910 W4010 W
At what elevation can you use this generator? (Asked August 08, 2020)

Up to 2000 feet without rejetting the carburetor.

Does this generator need to be covered if it rains. (Asked August 11, 2020)

Any portable generator has to be covered. Please refer to our article on rain and snow operation.

can this generator hook up to a manual generator transfer switch wired to a house panel (Asked October 20, 2020)

While it could technically be feasible with the help of a licensed electrician, we do not recommend it. This unit only produces 120V and is not designed for such a permanent connection.

Where is the P4500i Onan generator manufactured. I ask this, because I have had one on order for 3 months now. Is it coming out of China? (Asked November 04, 2020)

The P4500i is manufactured in Asia to Cummins' standards. It is currently on backorder pretty much everywhere.

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