So you’ve made the decision to become a full-time RVer, congratulation! But ever wonder how you get your mail while you’re traveling the open road?
RVers have all their mail go to one address. Some RVers use a friend or relative. Most use a mail forwarding service. Escapees, Family Motor Coaching Association (FMCA), and Good Sam Club RV clubs all have mail forwarding services. There are also some mail forwarding companies that specialize in RVers such as Alternative Resources in South Dakota. There are others. Many RVers choose as their domicile a state that has no state income taxes and so mail forwarding services spring up to meet the demand. Escapees is located in Texas and Good Sam in Florida, two other no-state-income-tax states in addition to South Dakota.
So your mail goes to your mail forwarding service (or relative’s) and then you contact them periodically by telephone or email to let them know when and where to send out your mail. An RV park where you’ll be on a certain date may accept mail for guests. You can have it sent in care of general delivery to a post office in a town where you’ll be in several days. Or you could have it sent to a friend or relative’s in that town. If you are in an area for an extended time – for a visit or if you are volunteering or working there – you might even get a post office box while you are there to receive your forwarded mail.When you contact the company or your friend for your mail, they bundle it into one package and mail (or send it via common carrier like UPS, if you request) it to the address you give them. If all goes well, in a couple of days, you have that batch of mail.
Mail forwarding services charge a yearly fee plus postage for their service. A friend or relative may do it expecting only the postage, but if you get mail frequently, it could be an imposition. Or, sometimes a relative won’t feel the urgency to mail your package out, tying you up for a few days.
• Make sure the post office you select accepts general delivery mail. If there is more than one location in a city,
only one will accept general delivery mail.
• Use the USPS zip code finder to find the
proper zip-four code and post office. Use “General Delivery” as the address.
• Plan ahead so your mail has time to reach you. If you have it sent to the location where you are, you could be there a week waiting for your mail.
• If you have it sent to an RV park, verify that they will accept mail. Some will not.
• It’s not a bad idea to alert the post office that you will be receiving general delivery mail. They are supposed to hold general delivery mail for 30 days but one time in Quartzsite, they sent it back in just a few days because they didn’t recognize the name and I wasn’t coming. A busy area like Quartzsite in the winter may not need to hold general delivery mail that long either.
• Most mail forwarding services will trash junk mail if requested, saving you from having to discard it yourself and also postage. This could mean no catalogs- probably a good thing!
Of course the use of email is nice, but where is the postman going to deliver that new travel book you just bought online? 🙂