What is in a name. This may be a question you will be asking once we are finished with this review. While the brand names may be different, the product can be exactly the same which makes anyone wonder why they should spend the extra money and buy a brand name product.
The Onan 4500i seems to be exactly the same as the Westinghouse iGen 4500 and in a side by side comparison, there is no difference between the two. It s a good thing we chose Honda to compare the Onan to or there wouldn’t be anything left to say.
To learn more about the Onan 4500i, just continue to read our article. Our article has the information you want to know about so you can pick the right generator for your camping needs. It may be a familiar generator but it does have some worth to it.
Some reviewers love the remote starting system. They claim that they can use their fob from 70 feet away and the generator will start right up. That is a great feature.
Others like the portability of this generator. It is easy to move as the handle is long enough for them and the wheels seem sturdy. ‘Under the hood’, there is a 7.3 HP, 224cc OHV 4-Stroke engine that can reach 50 amps with ease.
It comes with 2 5-volt USB charging ports so you can plug in those electric devices and get them powered up again. Plus, it comes with a remote start, push button operation, and a pull cord back up. You are covered when you need the power this device has to offer.
Its peak watts reach 4500 and the running watt production is at 3700 and at 25% load, it should run for 18 hours. The 50-amp service is only temporary so you will need to stick to the 30-amp power for most of the time you are camping.
To get full 50-amp service, you would need to parallel this generator with another model that is exactly the same as this one. Overall, this generator has received high marks. The reviewers have liked it and enjoyed the durability and reliability of this device.
The biggest problem they had with it is that it is not unique. It has been said that this exact model has been made in China and has been made for several different western brands. The Westinghouse model is just one example.
The Cummins Onan spec sheet on this generator states ‘as low as 52 decibels’ That is pretty quiet for a generator. However, the words ‘as low as’ bothers us somewhat. What does the company mean by that?
It is possible that at 25% of load, this generator is not going to be very loud. However, if you increase the load then you may experience a louder noise. That extra loud noise may upset your neighbors if they are camping close enough.
We have not seen any other decibel rating so far and 52 sounds good if you can maintain that level. If you go to 50% of the load, the noise may increase and you will only get 15 hours of continuous operation. The 3.4-gallon tank is not that large.
If you want to see all the specs for this model just click here. It is only 2 pages long and this sheet should provide you with all the information you need to know about this nice device.
The telescopic handle lets you transport this 98-pound generator easily. Plus, you get a 3-year warranty from the dealer with the option to buy an additional 3-year warranty. Some owners have taken advantage of that second warranty as it starts when the first one expires.
The cost of the second warranty may vary but one owner paid about $200 for it.
Cummins did put out a recall notice but you will not have to worry. Not only was that recall notice not for the 4500i but it was issued 12 years ago. There was also no recall issued by Onan.
This is good news as it tells those companies’ customers that the product is safe to use at all times. There has been no mention of a recall by any top ten best reviewers either.
This generator seems to have been made with top-quality parts and designed to work efficiently without having any design problems. Design problems happen all the time and in some cases, they can be quite dangerous. But this product should be safe and you can use it all the time without worry.
That is not to say that it does not come with no problems but we will get to those later. One of the bigger problems you may find is that getting a new one may take a while. Some customers have been waiting several months due to the unavailability of new machines.
But that situation took place about 2 years ago and that problem may be resolved by now. Check the availability before you head into the store. You might save yourself a trip.
The biggest issue here is the design. In looking at pictures of both devices, the only difference we saw was the color scheme. The Westinghouse was blue while the Onan was gray with a green accent. Other than that we saw no difference between them.
Both have the 224 ccs 7.3 HP engine and both have the same peak and running watts, 4500 & 3700. Both have the 4-stroke design as well. Those owners who have said the 2 generators are the same are not wrong.
Both weigh 98 pounds but the Westinghouse is slightly smaller than the Onan version. Their dimensions are W- 24.5 x 17.5 x 20.5 inches and the O-24.5 x 18.3 x 20.5 inches.
That .8 difference does make these two machines different generators, especially when they have the same telescopic handle and 5.5-inch wheels. One reviewer stated that the Westinghouse model only had 3 outlets and the Onan had 4 but in looking at the photos, we do not see that 4th outlet on the Onan generator.
But again, that difference does not make it a different machine. When you look at the specs, you will see that the two are the same machine. The cosmetic differences do not matter.
There is a big difference between these two generators. The Honda will run on gas and oil while the Onan runs only on gas as a fuel system. For the engine, you know that the Onan has a 7.3 HP 224cc OHV 4-stroke engine, and the Honda has the GX200.
The Honda is also heavier and larger than the Onan, it weighs 131 pounds and its dimensions are- 25.9 x 17.6 x 22 inches. Both have telescopic handles and wheels for easier transporting to a new location.
They also have the same type of warranty, 3 years in length. As for noise, the Onan gets as low as 52 decibels but that is not as quiet as the Honda as it goes as low as 50. At least Honda is honest. They will say that their generator model gets as noisy as 57 decibels. Onan does not do that.
As for running time, you already know that the Onan will go 18 hours at 25% load and 15 hours at 50% load. All we can find for Honda at the moment is that it will run between 7 and 20 hours approx. on one tank.
While the Honda has a larger transmission, the Onan has advanced technologies like Electronic Throttle Response (ERT) and Start-Stop System (SSS).
When it comes to horsepower, the Onan produces 375 while the Honda can only produce 320. Both are easy to set up and use. Your choice will depend on your needs, the power these generators supply as well as the brand name.
One source has said that Cummins or Onan stated their generators are made in Wisconsin. That may be so but that location does not explain why the Westinghouse company and other brands make the same generator.
It is said that Westinghouse has its generators made in China and the company could be Ducar. So far, we have not confirmed any location for either brand. Both companies have Chinese connections and Cummings has several partnerships with different Chinese companies.
This would explain why so many models of the 4500i are found with different brand names. While this takes place, most likely both Westinghouse and Cummins may provide the specs and the standards those Chinese companies are to build those products.
The parts may be made in both China and Vietnam for both companies, then those parts are shipped back to America for assembly. That would explain a lot if confirmed.
1. If your Onan stops running, it may be out of fuel. However, some Onan models are designed to stop working when there is about 1/4 tank left. Check the fuel first to make sure you have enough.
2. Watch the safety features- these are designed to shut the generator off when the gas and oil get too low. Make sure to check those tanks before moving on to another problem.
There are error codes to help you find the problem quickly. When you see the error codes, do not assume that resetting is all that is needed. Look them up to make sure you know the right thing to do.
3. Have the list of error codes handy- that will save you time but if you do not have them then go to www.cumminsonan.com. You will find the error codes listed there for this model as well as for older generator models.
4. Watch the warranty- while you have a 3-year coverage there is also a 2000-hour limit. If you use your generator frequently, it is possible for the warranty to expire in one year.
It may be a good idea to get a second warranty that starts when the original expires.
5. Use good fuel & oil- going cheap here is not a good idea. There may not be an oil filter in some Onan models so you have to be careful what type of oil you put in its tank.
Make sure to avoid putting old or watery fuel inside the gas tank. That will harm the engine and cause other repair bills.
You can check with Cummins or Onan directly. They may have an online store where you can make your purchase. If they don’t try Amazon next. At the time of this writing, this model is out of stock but it may come back soon.
If that is not a good option, Camping World is said to sell this model as well. But their prices may be a bit high for some people. Finally, check with Home Depot, Lowes, and similar big box stores to see if they carry this brand and model.
The prices for all these outlets will vary and hopefully, you can find one on sale. There may be some other hardware stores that carry this brand and model as well. A good internet search should find an outlet that is close to you
The Cummins Onan 4500i seems to have what it takes to deliver the power you need continuously. It has some great specs, a good motor, and lots of horsepower to make sure the power is there
Plus,m it seems to be very reliable as no one we checked had anything really bad to say about it. Except they are suspicious about where it is made. Other than that, it is a portable device that is small enough to fit into one of your storage units. It is also easy to use and handle.