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 looking for even more independence
- 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
- Tailgating and campground aficionados with the desire of enjoying power anywhere they go
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'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.
The inverter generator features a conventional pull-start mechanism and also a simple and elegant electric starter (battery included). It is rated for a noise of 52 dBA (just slightly more noisy than a conversation at home). The Onan P4500i can also be remotely started, offering further convenience (key fob included).
The Onan P4500i can operate for up to 18 hours with a full tank (fuel consumption around 0.19 GPH), due to its fuel capacity of 3.4 gallons.
The Onan P4500i generates a clean sine wave: providing <3% Total Harmonic Disruption (THD), delicate electronics can be plugged in its AC outlets safely.
The control panel features the following 3 AC outlets:
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.
This Cummins generator is RV Ready, thanks to its TT-30R receptacle (TT stands for 'Travel Trailer').
Thanks to its closed inverter generator design (L24.5 x W18.3 x H20.5 in), the Cummins Onan P4500i, is more esthetical than a typical, open frame generator. The generator has a contemporary design, convenient for recreationally generating power.
The 98 lbs of the Onan P4500i's dry weight enables you to use it anywhere you will ever need. Furthermore, once placed on the floor, effortless displacement is possible thanks to its set of 2 wheels (⌀5.5") and its telecospic handle.
Monitoring of the Onan P4500i's status and activity is made possible by a digital data center, which provides information on the voltage, remaining run time, power output, fuel level and lifetime run hours and is one of the features of its control panel.
In addition to this info, the device’s light indicators will display if the generator is on overload, the generator is ready and its oil levels are insufficient.
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 Cummins Onan P4500i also is packed along with the following accessories: oil, funnel, key fob, battery charger and tool kit. A storage cover is also available, as a separate purchase.
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, which makes it suitable for use in forested areas.
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).
- In terms of its dry weight, the Cummins Onan P4500i stands at only 98 lbs, meaning that is one of the lighter devices of the 3500-4500 rated wattage category Regarding dry weight, one of the champions in the same power range is the WEN GN400i, with a dry weight of only 66.1 lbs.
- With a lowest possible noise of 52 dBA, this inverter generator places itself amongst the most quiet of the products delivering similar power.
- The Onan P4500i, offering a run time of up to 18 hours with a full tank at a 25% load, falls within the average autonomy range when compared to its peers. If you consider autonomy on a single full tank as one of the deciding factors, one of the generators in the same power range that offers the highest run time is the Champion 200914, with 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 fuel consumption is your top priority, we suggest to check out the Westinghouse iGen4200, which has a fuel consumption of only 0.14 GPH and thus, is one of the most efficient devices in our database.
Here's a list of the most popular specific comparisons:
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
- In the expected price range
- Several accessories included
- RV Ready
- Remote start
- Parallel capable
- Lightweight for its kind (98 lbs)
- Quiet for its power (52 dBA)
- Decent run time
- Decent fuel efficiency
The Cummins Onan P4500i doesn't have any notably low specs.
Features and Specifications
|Parallel capable||Yes, cable not included|
|Engine||224 cc Ducar OHV 4-stroke|
|Starting system||Recoil, Electric, Remote|
|Voltage||AC: 120V 60 Hz, DC: 5V|
|Running watts||3700 W|
|Starting watts||4500 W|
|Running amps||30.8 amps|
|Peak amps||37.5 amps|
|Run time @50% load||15 h|
|Run time @25% load||18 h|
|Automatic Voltage Regulation||Inverter|
|AC outlets|| |
|DC outlets||2x 5V USB port|
|Data center||Power output, fuel level, lifetime run hours, remaining run time and voltage|
|Indicators||Low oil, overload and output ready|
|Fuel tank||Steel, 3.4 gal|
|Approx. dimensions (L x W x H)||24.5 x 18.3 x 20.5 in|
|Noise (lower limit)||52 dBA|
|Security||Low oil and overload protection|
|Accessories included||Oil, funnel, tool kit, key fob, battery charger, and battery|
|Other model numbers||A058U955|
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.
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.
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?
|Item||Running Watts||Starting Watts|
|At home||Refrigerator (energy star)||192||1192|
|Set of 5 LED light bulbs||55||55|
|Total||2947 W||3947 W|
|For camping||Radiant heater||1300||1300|
|RV AC (11,000 BTU)||1010||1600|
|Set of 5 LED light bulbs||55||55|
|Total||2945 W||3535 W|
|Total||2910 W||4010 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.
Will the generator run at 5,000 feet? I go in hi elevations sometimes (Asked March 25, 2021)
You will probably have to rejet it/use an altitude kit. We recommend reading our article on operation in high altitudes.
Who is the manufacturer of the engine used in the P4500i, I was told its Briggs and Stanton. (Asked April 14, 2021)
The engine is manufactured by Ducar.
Where is the serial number located. (Asked April 26, 2021)
Does this generator have a CO sensor and shut-off if unsafe levels are detected? (Asked June 08, 2021)
The current version of the P4500i does not feature a CO sensor. You may have a look at our list of units with a CO sensor.
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