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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).

  • 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.
  • 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.

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

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.

Cummins Onan P4500i
3 Total Score
3 reviews
Add your review
Price
3
Value
2.3
Quality
2.7
Performance
4
3 Reviews
Show all Most Helpful Highest Rating Lowest Rating Add your review
  1. 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(6) Unhelpful(2)You have already voted this
  2. 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(4) Unhelpful(2)You have already voted this
  3. 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(2) Unhelpful(2)You have already voted this

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