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Cummins Onan P4500i - 3700/4500W Inverter Generator With Remote Start

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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 wishing to enhance their freedom and nomad lifestyle
  • People occasionally participating in sporting competitions, open-air performances and outdoor festivals
  • Homeowners in need of an emergency backup power for their essentials
  • Camping and tailgating hobbyists looking for a portable power source

The following sections will present you in detail its power characteristics, the different outlets it offers, its overall portability, and the extra features it benefits from.

Power & Run Time

The Cummins Onan P4500i in use

The Cummins Onan P4500i

Running on gasoline, the Cummins Onan P4500i utilizes a 224 cc (7.3 hp) Ducar OHV 4-stroke engine to deliver 120V, offering a running wattage of 3,700W and a starting wattage of 4,500W. In addition, as it is parallel capable (A058M290 parallel kit (opens in a new tab) not included), this power can be increased when linked to another similar or compatible unit.

Enjoying a noise rating of 52 dBA (just slightly more noisy than a refrigerator), this inverter generator can be started thanks to a classic hand-operated recoil starting mechanism, but also to a convenient and easy-to-use electric starter (battery included). Additionally, the Onan P4500i may be remotely started, enhancing user convenience (key fob included).

Featuring a 3.4 gallons fuel tank, the Onan P4500i guarantees continuous power for up to 18 hours on a full tank (fuel consumption around 0.19 GPH).

The Onan P4500i ensures a clean sine wave output, boasting <3% Total Harmonic Distortion (THD) to protect your sensitive electronics when connected to its AC outlets.

Outlets

The control panel is equipped with the following 3 AC outlets:

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

Furthermore, it showcases 2 DC outlets: there's two 5V USB ports providing convenient charging capabilities for mobile phones, tablets, and other electronic devices.

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

Portability

As an inverter generator, the Cummins Onan P4500i showcases a closed design (L24.5 x W18.3 x H20.5 in), enhancing aesthetics and ensuring quieter operation compared to conventional, open frame models. This type of design is the most modern and convenient way to recreationally generate power.

As the Onan P4500i's weight is only 98 lbs, it can follow you and your power needs anywhere. Furthermore, with its set of 2 wheels (⌀5.5") and its telecospic handle, you can easily relocate the generator once it's set up.

Features

Panel of the Cummins Onan P4500i

The Onan P4500i's control panel

Enhancing monitoring capabilities, the Onan P4500i features a digital data center within its control panel, furnishing essential details on the power output, fuel level, remaining run time, voltage and lifetime run hours for tracking activity and status.

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.

Security-wise, this product benefits from an automatic low oil shut-off and an overload protection (circuit breaker), which gives you a complete peace of mind when using it.

Beyond the standard documentation and an owner's manual (opens in a new tab) to assist with setup, the Cummins Onan P4500i ships with supplementary accessories: oil, tool kit, funnel, key fob and battery charger. A storage cover is also available, as a separate purchase.

Product Videos

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 inverter generators of similar power (between 3500 and 4500 W).

  • As its weight is 98 pounds, the Cummins Onan P4500i falls in the expected weight range of the inverters in the 3500-4500 rated wattage category. If weight matters to you, one of the champions in this power range is the Genmax GM4600iAEFIC with only 58.4 pounds.
  • With a noise rating as low as 52 dBA, this inverter generator is among the quietest options available in its type and power range.
  • As the Onan P4500i offers up to 18 hours run time on a full tank at a 25% load, it falls within the average autonomy range among the inverter generators of a similar power. If runtime is a priority for you, the Firman W03661OF stands out as one of the generators with the longest run time in its power range, providing up to 25 hours of continuous use.
  • Autonomy holds its importance, however, it is largely dependent on the generator’s fuel capacity and so, it is nonsensible to discuss it without mentioning fuel efficiency as well. At a 25% load, the inverter generator consumes an estimated 0.19 gallons of gasoline per hour, falling within the average consumption range of units with similar output. If not satisfied with the afore-mentioned fuel consumption, you may wish to check out the Champion 200988. With a fuel consumption of as little as 0.16 GPH, it is one of the most efficient generators currently on the market.

Price comparison

As you can see from these interactive charts, when compared to other 3500-4500W inverter 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
  • Quiet for its power (52 dBA)
AVERAGE SPECS:
  • Decent weight (98 lbs)
  • 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
Parallel capableYes, cable not included
RV readyYes
FuelGasoline
Engine224 cc Ducar OHV 4-stroke
Starting systemRecoil, Electric, Remote
Warranty3 years
Power
VoltageAC: 120V 60 Hz, DC: 5V
Running watts3,700 W
Starting watts4,500 W
Running amps30.8 amps
Peak 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%
ComplianceCARB, EPA
SecurityLow oil and overload protection
Spark arrestorYes
NeutralFloating
Accessories includedOil, funnel, tool kit, key fob, battery charger, and battery
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.

Spec Improvement×

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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 sizer.
ItemRunning WattsStarting Watts
At homeDish washer15003000
Refrigerator (energy star)1921192
Vacuum cleaner10751175
Security system180180
Total2947 W4447 W
For campingRV AC (11,000 BTU)10101600
RV refrigerator180600
Electric grill16501650
Radio100100
Total2940 W3530 W
For workGrinder14002500
Demolition hammer12601260
Drain cleaner250250
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.

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)

At the back of the unit, below the battery access cover. See picture below:
Cummins Onan P4500i Serial Number location

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.

Couldn't find the right answer for you? Ask your own question.

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Cummins Onan P4500i
4.7 Total Score
6 reviews
Add your review
Price
4.8
Value
4.5
Quality
4.2
Performance
5.3

User Reviews

Most Recent Most Helpful Highest Rating Lowest Rating Add your review
  1. 1.15
    Price
    40
    Value
    30
    Quality
    10
    Performance
    10

    I purchased a new onan generator ram 3 tanks of fuel it quit running being it was over 12 months old it ended costing 525.00 to fix what a piece of junk

    + PROS:
    • Quiet
    - CONS:
    • To heavy to pickup extremely bulky
    Helpful(0) Unhelpful(0)You have already voted this
  2. 4.75
    Price
    90
    Value
    100
    Quality
    90
    Performance
    100

    Note: the Cummins P4500i looks the same as Westinghouse IGEN 4500, It’s not. The Cummins has a better inverter….OK, let’s start…I own two Honda EU3000is and two other Honda’s. By far the best generator (abut the same as the Yamaha) and so quiet. But… I had to buy a different generator because it doesn’t have enough power to run all I need on my toy hauler camper. I thought my roof AC was 13,500 btu, buts it’s 5,000 btu with easy start. When running the AC, refrigerator and microwave or coffeemaker the circuit breaker/power trips on the generator if eco mode is on. If you run with eco mode off, runs all, and I don’t like manual turning off and on the eco mode. I but the Cummins Onans P4500i what I just bought, works good for my needs now, but…. About 8DB louder (real world testing) and very noticeable. And the oil change on the Honda so easy, but the Cummins very hard and will make a mess, since poor oil change design. Hope Honda can made come out with a 4500watt Generator that can keep the same design as the eu3000is. See my Youtube video for the reviews under BenGrilling.

    + PROS:
    • Runs camper with 5000btu AC, no issues
    - CONS:
    • Oil change, much louder them my Honda EU3000is
    Helpful(5) Unhelpful(0)You have already voted this
  3. 3.75
    Price
    70
    Value
    70
    Quality
    70
    Performance
    90

    Have purchased 2 of these for my sons. Both ran perfectly after adding oil an have performed flawless ever since. Like them enough that I may buy another to replace my smaller generator.

    + PROS:
    • 32 amps output, remote control and quiet.
    - CONS:
    • Should be priced closer to its westinghouse twin.
    Helpful(3) Unhelpful(0)You have already voted this
  4. 1.25
    Price
    50
    Value
    10
    Quality
    10
    Performance
    30

    I bought this POS in Marion, Illinois. Remote keybfob is missing. Owner has tried to get me one, but so far no go. Generator backfires when starting and acquiring any load. Local Cummins dealer, Rocky Mountain Cummims says they are a Westinghouse POS and will have to be shipped back to the manufacturer to be replaced. Real POS. Waste of money and time. Cummins call center is worthless and gives major runaround. Impossible to deal with. Lies and excuses. Please dont waste your hard earned money on this POS.

    + PROS:
    • Cheap. Junk
    - CONS:
    • Comes incomplete,missing remote fob,backfires when load hits it. Local Cummins dealer says they are a POS and will have to ship it back due to it being a Westinghouse POS. REAL PIECE OF JUNK. Waste of hard earned money
    Helpful(32) Unhelpful(11)You have already voted this
  5. Avatar
    Sergio gonzalez June 15, 2021 at 7:00 pm
    2.75
    Price
    30
    Value
    50
    Quality
    60
    Performance
    80

    I bought mine in February 2021 worked for about 50 hrs only and started surging pretty bad. So I took it to the retailer that I got it from. They did honored the warranty but it took them a month to replace the carburetor. So after I got it back I been using it for about 2 months now without issues

    + PROS:
    • Looks nice, remote start is pretty handy and it delivers the power that promises
    - CONS:
    • Oil drainer is awkwardly positioned and makes the oil changing process difficult and messy
    Helpful(20) Unhelpful(7)You have already voted this
  6. 0.5
    Price
    10
    Value
    10
    Quality
    10
    Performance
    10

    PLEASE READ, DON’T BUY. I bought a P4500I last month and am totally dissatisfied. I am very surprised Onan put their name on this Chinese crap. I have owned many generators from living off power in the Hawaiian Islands for over 40 years now and this one is the most disappointing I have ever experienced. Started off with a DKD 7.5 Onan and it was great. Needed more amps and went to Northern Lights, 16KW. No longer needed that and switched to Honda EU3000ie and it was also great. Also use a Honda 2200I and was not disappointed either. So I started looking at these new 4500s that are out by Onan, Westinghouse, and others and they are crap. I use mostly for powering my house for big items and this P4500I doesn’t do it. This is a generic generator made in China and they are all the same. They change the color and a couple of handles and put a different brand on it. I had a westhinghouse 4500 also and it was the same. I sent it back as soon as I could. The packaging is the same with all the same include items.A quart of oil, wrench, plastic funnel, all exactly the same. They don’t deliver the amps and wattage they boast. If I start a blender, food processor, coffee machine of any other appliance the light dim and the TV knocks out every time. My house ran better on the Honda 2200. These gens can’t take a surge or demand. Gas consumption, they boast 15 hours on 3 gallons. Yes if you don’t run anything and it’s idling. If I put my pool pump on the hours go down to half. The oil change is also difficult. The oil plug to drain is hard to reach and put back on. The best thing about this gen and all the others is the remote control, on/off. I wish I could return it and get a Honda.
    They are just too expensive, but they deliver what they say. I wish I had better things to say on my first ever review.

    + PROS:
    • remote control
    - CONS:
    • Everything else.
    Helpful(47) Unhelpful(16)You have already voted this

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