We installed a Whirlpool Model ED2GVEXVD in May of 2011. I wrote up the process with photos in this forum, Replacing a Norcold Refrigerator. There is a good question and answer session that follows the initial article.
We run with our inverter on all the time and thus the refrigerator is always on. We seldom boondock for extended periods but when we have running the generator for a while in the morning and/or evening will work to keep our standard four battery bank charged.
In answer to the question of a direct replacement, I've never heard or read of one that fits right into the same hole in the wall. Ours required cutting the opening down about 6 inches. The hole in the outside wall should be blocked or closed off to prevent cold/warm air as well as insects from entering the coach. The Norcold refrigerator forms a tight seal with the inside wall of the coach. The replacement refrigerator does not seal the inside wall. Even if you put padding or insulation around the sides to form a seal, the bottom of our refrigerator is not sealed and would allow outside air and bugs passage into the interior of the coach. I put a wood panel over the roof opening and constructed a cover for the inside of the exterior removable panel on the coach so I can still remove that panel to access the plug in and for cleaning purposes.
As to how the refrigerator looks, I was more concerned with having cold food and solid ice cream than looks but I'm very happy with the looks as well. I have all the ice I want through the door along with cold water. I never have to defrost this refrigerator and as said by others, I sleep better knowing that this refrigerator is much less likely to go up in flames.
Thank you for the information and the photos were great. We are going to complete this task soon, I have had enough with the Norcold product safety record and reliability already and I have only owned this coach for 2 months. We have met people with Norcold products that have had nothing but bad things to say about their reliability.
Funny story, I called Norcold to see if I could use the 1200 on the invertor since the gas burner is not working, the tech support person was very numb, his response was "no, it draws to much power and no invertor will handle that load", funny my invertor will run the microwave, that fridge pulls that much power, I doubt it.
I have to do my homework a little and seek out the best price for one and make the switch. I am tired of looking at the thermometer inside and seeing 45-50 deg, good thing we only use this for mini weekend getaways a few times a month.
My wife is very concerned over the safety record the RV refrigerators provide. Funny you mentioned frozen ice cream, I put a bottle of cranberry juice in our freezer for three days and it only turned to slush not even a firm slush, pretty sad. Our old RV was equipped with a Dometic Americana, and the fridge was 16 years old, other that routine maintenance I had no issues with it, in fact it would have froze the juice and split the bottle in a day.
After speaking to their customer support center I can see why they have product issues.
Thank you again for the information. due to safety and cost this sounds like the best approach.