Couch family RV is a Florida based business whose roots started in Ocala in the mid 1980’s. When faced with the option of paying retail price for a new motorhome Bill Link (grandfather to now owner Rick Couch) investigated becoming an RV dealer. The licensing and minimum orders were considerably less than today. Even though he was retired, he ordered the first 3 units and sold the extra 2 from the front of his brother John’s stained-glass shop. Realizing there was a need for an RV dealership in Ocala, Bill ordered 3 more RVs and so began the story of Tradewinds RV. For a couple of years he and his wife, Flo Link, sold campers whenever they were not traveling in their motorhome. Their daughter and son in law, Kathy and Bob Couch, were schoolteachers at a local church school. When Bill and Flo decided they had run the business long enough and wanted to retire again, they offered it to Kathy & Bob. Their son, Rick Couch, came to work in the family business 7 months after Bob and Kathy took over.
Times weren’t easy in the late 80’s and occasionally there was a payroll that had to be skipped to keep the doors open. But they worked hard, like any family pursuing the dream our country was built on. With God’s blessings sales picked up and the family got better at being in business. In 1991 the family was blessed to have Karen Rilea Couch add her name to the roster of Tradewinds RV supporters, by marrying Rick. It was a happy time and in March of 1996 Rick Couch Jr. was born.
Season after season the family of Tradewinds RV grew. Jayco was added as the main brand and served as a standard for quality. In 2007 Rick finished buying the dealership from his parents. Rick’s parents had always treated their customers and employees like family. Rick continued that legacy and grew the dealership with the principle that customer care is more important than profit. Tradewinds RV had a reputation for after sale service that was unmatched, and people would drive from all over the state to own a “Tradewinds RV.”
Rick was ready to retire, and God once again provided. This time in Rick’s longtime friend Jeff Hirsch, the owner of the Campers Inn RV stores. A deal was struck and Tradewinds RV was sold. Rick stayed on to manage the store for 3 years before retiring in 2020. Retirement did not last long for Rick. While driving to visit their second son, Jonathan, in Tallahassee he and Karen started noticing that there were no RV dealerships on Highway 19, yet lots of campgrounds. It had always been in their plans for the younger Rick to take over the running of the family business, they just didn’t realize it would be at a new location and under a new name.
Rick and Karen prayed hard, and God lead the way. Cross City, which is right in the middle of camping country, had an old high school campus for sale. Its existing structures seemed to have been perfectly designed for an RV dealership, and with the large spreading oak trees and 1000 ft. of road frontage there could not have been a better place to grow a new business. The Couches knew that they wanted to offer the best products on the market. Rick reached out to his business partners at Jayco who eagerly signed up to be the manufacturer for this new dealership.
For four generations we, the Couches, have strived to provide Florida with the best possible RVing experience. We will continue to do so from this new location and hope that we can add many more happy campers to our family. We invite everyone to come out to the country and help us write the next chapter in our book.