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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.
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Description

Zoom on the Cummins Onan P4500i

In a nutshell, the Cummins Onan P4500i is a quiet and compact portable inverter generator mostly geared towards:

  • RV travellers looking for even more independence
  • Occasional participants of outdoor events, competitions, concerts and festivals
  • Homeowners who want to be sure of their ability to power their fridges, cooking tools, heating and lighting equipment during power failures
  • Tailgating and campground aficionados with the desire of enjoying power anywhere they go

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 Cummins Onan P4500i in use

The Cummins Onan P4500i

The Cummins Onan P4500i's design includes a gasoline-fueled 224 cc (7.3 hp) Ducar OHV 4-stroke engine. With a 120V output, it gives a running wattage of 3700W and also a peak wattage of 4500W. In addition, the device is parallel capable (A058M290 parallel kit (opens in a new tab) not included) and thus, can be linked to a similar or compatible unit for added power.

The inverter generator is rated for a noise of 52 dBA (just slightly more noisy than a conversation at home). Its starting mechanisms include a simple traditional pull-start mechanism and a convenient and easy-to-use electric starter (battery included). To add further convenience, the Onan P4500i can be remotely started (key fob included).

With a full tank, the Onan P4500i can operate for up to 18 hours (fuel consumption around 0.19 GPH), thanks to its fuel capacity of 3.4 gallons.

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 features the upcoming 3 AC outlets:

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

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

With its TT-30R receptacle (TT as in 'Travel Trailer'), this Cummins generator is RV Ready.

Portability

As the Cummins Onan P4500i is an inverter generator, its encased design (L24.5 x W18.3 x H20.5 in) offers more aesthetics than a conventional, open frame product. 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. Additionally, it can be easily moved with the help of its wheel kit (⌀5.5") and its telecospic handle, once it is on the ground.

Features

Panel of the Cummins Onan P4500i

The Onan P4500i's control panel

Monitoring of the Onan P4500i's status and activity is made possible by a digital data center, which provides information on the power output, remaining run time, voltage, fuel level and lifetime run hours and is one of the features of its control panel.

In addition to this info, some light indicators allow you to instantly see if the generator is on overload, the oil level is too low and the generator is ready.

From a security standpoint, the product offers an automatic low oil shut-off and an overload protection (circuit breaker), allowing you to use it with a peace of mind.

While the standard documentation and an owner's manual (opens in a new tab), helpful for starting the device promptly, come with the Cummins Onan P4500i, the following accessories are also included: tool kit, battery charger, oil, key fob and funnel. 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, making it usable 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).

  • As far as its dry weight is concerned, the Cummins Onan P4500i weighs just 98 pounds and thus, it is one of the lighter 3500 to 4500 rated wattage generators. In terms of weight, one of the champions in their power range is the WEN GN400i, standing at just 66.1 lbs.
  • As its lowest possible noise is rated at 52 dBA, this inverter generator qualifies as one of the most quiet of the products 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 autonomy is your priority, one of the devices of a similar power output with the highest run time is the Champion 200954, reaching up to 22 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 inverter generator has an estimated fuel consumption of roughly 0.19 GPH (gallon per hour) at a 25% load, rendering it somewhat average compared to devices of a similar output. If you wish to further improve in the area of fuel efficiency, the Westinghouse iGen4200, which boasts with a gas consumption of only 0.14 GPH, may be the right generator for you.

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

Price comparison

As you can see from this interactive chart, when compared to other 3500-4500W generators, the Cummins Onan P4500i 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

STRENGTHS:
  • In the expected price range
  • 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.

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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.

Does remote control also turn it off? (Asked December 06, 2020)

The unit can be remotely started and stopped.

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