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Cummins Onan P4500i Spec Review

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

  • RV travellers wishing to enhance their freedom and nomad lifestyle
  • People occasionally participating in outdoor fairs, festivals or events
  • 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 following paragraphs, we shall explore the power characteristics, available outlets, portability, and any additional features of the device, along with its emission compliance information.

Power & Run Time

The Cummins Onan P4500i in use

The Cummins Onan P4500i

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. Moreover, since it is parallel capable (A058M290 parallel kit (opens in a new tab) not included), its power may be doubled if linked to a second compatible unit.

With a noise rating of 52 dBA (just slightly more noisy than a conversation at home), the inverter generator features a simple traditional pull-start mechanism, but also 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 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).

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.

Outlets

The control panel includes the following 3 AC outlets:

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

It also sports 2 DC outlets: there's two 5V USB ports allowing you to conveniently charge electronics such as mobile phones and tablets.

Thanks to its TT-30R receptacle (TT stands for '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. 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. In addition, with its set of 2 wheels (⌀5.5") and its telecospic handle, it may be shifted with ease, once placed on the floor.

Features

Panel of the Cummins Onan P4500i

The Onan P4500i's control panel

To help you monitor the Onan P4500i's status and activity, its control panel is equipped with a digital data center, giving you information on the fuel level, voltage, remaining run time, power output and lifetime run hours.

In addition to this info, when the generator is ready, the generator is overloaded and its oil levels are insufficient, you will be informed by the featured light indicators.

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

With the basic documentation and an owner's manual (opens in a new tab), letting you start the generator quickly, the Cummins Onan P4500i also comes with several accessories, including: battery charger, funnel, tool kit, oil and key fob. A storage cover is also available, as a separate purchase.

Emissions

The Cummins Onan P4500i is EPA-approved and CARB-compliant. Therefore, its sale and purchase are permitted in all of the 50 states, including California.

Moreover, it features a spark arrestor, which makes it suitable for use in forested areas.

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 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 is your top priority, one of the champions in this power category is the WEN GN400i, weighing just 66.1 pounds.
  • At a lowest noise rating of 52 dBA, this inverter generator is one of the most quiet devices of similar power.
  • Offering up to 18 hours of running time on a full tank at 25% load, the Onan P4500i is within the average autonomy range of similarly powerful generators. 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 200954, with up to 22 hours.
  • The run time is important, but also hugely depends on the capacity of the fuel tank and doesn't mean much if we don't talk about fuel consumption as well. This inverter generator reaches an estimated fuel consumption of 0.19 GPH (gallon per hour) at a 25% load, making it average, for the previously mentioned wattage range. 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.

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
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%
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 homeMicrowave (1000 watts)15001500
Refrigerator (energy star)1921192
Vacuum cleaner10751175
Security system180180
Total2947 W3947 W
For campingRV AC (11,000 BTU)10101600
RV refrigerator180600
Electric grill16501650
Radio100100
Total2940 W3530 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.

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

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