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
- People occasionally participating in sporting competitions, open-air performances and outdoor festivals
- Homeowners who want to be able to use the most necessary devices in their household, even during a blackout
- Camping and tailgating hobbyists looking for a portable power source
Power & Run Time
The Cummins Onan P4500i is powered by a 224 cc (7.3 hp) Ducar OHV 4-stroke engine. It delivers 120V, runs on gasoline and offers a running wattage of 3700W as well as 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.
Enjoying a noise rating of 52 dBA (just slightly more noisy than a refrigerator), this inverter generator can be started thanks to a simple traditional pull-start mechanism, but also to a convenient and easy-to-use electric starter (battery included). Moreover, to offer you even more convenience, the Onan P4500i can also be remotely started (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.
As the Onan P4500i produces a clean sine wave, with a <3% Total Harmonic Disruption (THD), sensitive electronics may be plugged in the AC outlets safely.
The control panel includes the following 3 AC outlets:
Furthermore, it has 2 DC outlets: there's two 5V USB ports allowing you to conveniently charge electronics such as mobile phones and tablets.
With its TT-30R receptacle (TT as in 'Travel Trailer'), this Cummins generator is RV Ready.
Since the Cummins Onan P4500i is an inverter generator, its closed design (L24.5 x W18.3 x H20.5 in) has an esthetical advantage over conventional, open frame devices. The generator has a contemporary design, convenient for recreationally generating power.
The Onan P4500i can be taken anywhere with you, thanks to its weight of 98 lbs. Moreover, its set of 2 wheels (⌀5.5") and its telecospic handle will allow you to effortlessly shift it once it's on the ground.
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, voltage, remaining run time, power output and fuel level.
In addition to this info, when the generator is ready, the oil level is too low and the generator is on overload, you will be informed by the featured light indicators.
Security-wise, this product benefits from an overload protection (circuit breaker) and an automatic low oil shut-off, which gives you a complete peace of mind when using it.
Besides the classic documentation and an owner's manual (opens in a new tab) to get you promptly started, the Cummins Onan P4500i also comes with some accessories: funnel, key fob, battery charger, oil and tool kit are included. 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 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 you are concerned by weight, one of the champions in the above-mentioned power range is the WEN GN400i, with a dry weight of just 66.1 pounds.
- Since this inverter generator is rated for a lowest possible noise of 52 dBA, it can be considered as one of the most quiet of the products generating 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 autonomy is your priority, one of the devices of a similar power output with the highest run time is the Firman W03661OF, reaching up to 25 hours.
- While the run time is an important parameter, it is dependent on the fuel tank’s capacity and thus, doesn’t say much on its own unless we consider fuel consumption as well. Standing at an estimated 0.19 GPH (gallon per hour) at a 25% load, this inverter generator is somewhat average in this area compared to other devices, within the aforementioned wattage range. If fuel consumption is your top priority, we suggest to check out the Champion 200988, which has a fuel consumption of only 0.16 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 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
- In the expected price range
- Several accessories included
- RV Ready
- Remote start
- Parallel capable
- Quiet for its power (52 dBA)
- Decent weight (98 lbs)
- 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||Electric fry pan||1500||1500|
|Refrigerator (energy star)||192||1192|
|Total||2947 W||3947 W|
|For camping||RV AC (11,000 BTU)||1010||1600|
|Total||2940 W||3530 W|
|Electric fence (25 miles)||250||250|
|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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