Learn the History of Campbell RV - Florida's Best RV Dealer
Through study and hard work he became proficient in mechanical repairs. In 1929, they moved back to Sarasota and worked hard for several years saving their money. In 1931, Grady was able to open a service station and garage in downtown Sarasota. The business thrived on repairs of fleet trucks and did well even during the depression years prior to World War II. When the war started, Grady continued working on vehicles. The business was stable during the war years because repairs were the rule without new trucks and cars in the marketplace.
In 1945, Grady started a used car business and put his son Ralph to work after school and during the summers. Ralph learned to pump gas and grease trucks. Ralph would ride his bicycle around town to Anderson Auto parts or other suppliers for his father. In 1948, Grady decided to build a new garage - that new facility became the Kaiser-Frazier dealer in Sarasota. When Chrysler began looking for a Desoto-Plymouth dealer, Grady jumped at the opportunity to become a Chrysler dealer.
Octavia Campbell began to manage the office as the business grew. Claude Stephens married their daughter Rita and began selling cars after he returned from the Air Force in 1949. Ralph returned after serving during the Korean War and going to technical school to learn auto mechanics.
In 1966, Grady purchased the Chrysler-Plymouth dealership in Venice. In 1967, he was tragically killed in a tractor accident on his farm. Claude and Rita Stephens assumed management of the Venice store later becoming the exclusive owners. In 1968, the Desoto-Plymouth store became a Jeep dealer and, in 1969, a Datsun dealer. Ralph and his sister, Thelma, managed the Sarasota dealership.
Through the gas crisis of the seventies the dealership thrived on the sale of Japanese imports. Ralph & Peggy’s sons, Kevin and Colin, worked through their high school and college years in the family business. In 1980, the old downtown location was sold and the Datsun-Jeep dealership moved to a new location. The business grew and expanded several times over the next eleven years. The Nissan-Jeep dealership was sold in 1991 and the second generation retired from the automobile business.
Kevin Campbell continued in the used car and truck business until 1993. When he saw opportunity in the recreational vehicle business, he began selling motor homes and travel trailers. As the recreational vehicle business grew, the focus shifted away from cars and trucks. Colin, the younger brother, joined the company in 1995 and has been instrumental in the success the company experiences in sales.
In 2000, we opened our new indoor RV service and repair facility to meet the service needs of our community. Our Service Center offers the best quality service and has contributed to the growth and success of the company. In 2010, our product line grew to include Forest River products. We are proud to offer new Flagstaff, Cherokee, Grey Wolf and other towables to our customers for purchase.