Sterling and Jeannie Bradleys’ teardrop trailer is small but packed with memories. When they became concerned about uneven tire wear, they needed a solution that would ensure their travels could continue.
Cruising the U.S.
The Sheffield Village couple bought the compact camper several years ago, as a 50th wedding anniversary present to themselves.
“We’re not people who would enjoy a cruise,” said Mr. Bradley. “So we bought the trailer and said, ‘that’ll be our cruise.’” They packed up the camper and took it on a seven-week ‘cruise’ out west the year they bought it, and they’ve cruised (almost) all over the United States since then.
“We’ve put a lot of miles on it, probably 25,000,” said Mr. Bradley, but they haven’t been to every state…yet. “We missed Iowa and South Dakota,” he said. They’re on the way to fixing that, though.
Memories Last Forever, But Axles Don’t
When Mr. Bradley noticed the tires on his tried-and-true trailer were wearing unevenly, he realized there might be a problem with the axle. Pat Calvey at JTI confirmed his suspicions.
“The spindles were smacking the frame, which wears the inside of the tires, and the torsion axle was out of camber,” Calvey said.
Calvey, who has been with JTI for 27 years, explains that an axle sees a lot of action driving in normal conditions. Riding on rough roads and hitting chuckholes speeds up wear. And the Bradleys had been on more than a few rough roads. Overloading can also cause axles to wear prematurely. “We make torsion axles for customers here, and we ship them all over the place,” Calvey said.
Fortunately, the Bradley’s trailer was still safe enough to pull into our Oakwood Village shop. In this case, the axle just needed to be recambered. Once that was done, it was ready to roll through quite a few more states.
“It was all in a day’s work, to get them back on the road,” Calvey said.
The Bradleys appreciated the quick turnaround, because the couple’s 2015 itinerary includes “cruising” to Florida to visit friends, and then to Alaska, where their granddaughter has worked in a fish hatchery.
Big Adventures Don’t Require a Big Tow Vehicle
The Bradleys have pulled their teardrop camper trailer with a Ford Focus as well as larger vehicles.
In fact, one of their more exciting drives occurred in the Focus, when they were cruising through Maine last fall. At some point, Mr. Bradley said, “We decided to go on up to Canada.”
“We usually take a lot of back roads, but these had a lot of detours, and the GPS had us really out in the boondocks on dirt and gravel roads – really BIG chunks of gravel – and all of the sudden the road goes at a right angle and straight uphill. So there we sat, thinking, OK, it will be probably be a week before someone comes along…and the next thing you know we had two or three cars behind us, and a dump truck. They got us turned around.”
Adventures like that don’t deter the Bradleys.
“Oh no – you gotta keep going,” he says. We’ve been very fortunate, and we’re looking forward to getting back on the road.” JTI understands people with that kind of drive and thirst for adventure.
“(Owner Ed Agoston) was great. Pat was great. I couldn’t ask for a better service experience,” said Mr. Bradley.
And we couldn’t ask for better customers. We thank the Bradleys for sharing their stories, and wish them many more happy adventures.
Adventures to share?
The Bradleys’ travels have given them an appreciation for the scenery and sights of Ohio and Pennsylvania. “There’s a lot to be said for seeing what’s in your backyard,” Mr. Bradley said.