Getting Mail

graphic of a stamped envelope

Being able to receive your mail while on the road is important for most people. There are several solutions to this task:

Use Neighbors or Friends

For those RVers who are Extended Timers and will be returning (sometime) to their home base, using a trusted neighbor or a close friend to forward your mail is the easiset solution. The main advantage is that your permanent mailing address remains the same, and nothing has to be done when you are at home.

About once a week, have your neighbor or friend get your mail, throw out the junk mail, put the "good stuff" in a USPS flat rate envelope, and mail the package to you.

Use a Local Mail Forwarding service

For Full Timers, using a mail forwarding service makes the most sense, since there is usually no permanent home base.

The biggest hassle with a mail forwarding service is that you have to change all your mail to the address of the mail forwarding service—and there are always some folks and businesses that somehow fail to get the message.

The forwarding process is the same (hopefully trashing your junk mail before it is sent to you).

Use an RV-Friendly Mail Forwarding Service

Most Full Timers choose to use one of the mail forwarding services especially set up for RVers on the road. The two services that first come to mind are those provided by FMCA and the Escapees.

For FMCA, your new address is in Cincinnati, OH; and for Escapees, your new address is in Livingston, TX.

For a small monthly fee, plus shipping charges, these services accumulate your mail, and wait for you to tell them where to send the next batch of mail. Sometimes they use FEDEX or UPS to expedite the delivery of your mail.

Where Should My Mail Be Sent?

For "newbies" just getting on the road, this question is asked repeatedly. You need to be very aware that most RV parks will not accept delivery of mail to park guests—although many of the Snow Bird parks (catering to long-term RV stays) are set up to handle mail for their guests.

The trick is to use a US Postal Service General Delivery address in the town where you are staying, or a town down the road a few days hence. Many General Delivery addresses have their own dedicated Zip Code, which you can easily find by getting on the Internet and going to the USPS web site.

Beware! If you are, for example, visiting Yuma, AZ in the Winter time (along with thousands of other Snow Birds), you are making a huge mistake if you have your mail forwarded to the main General Delivery address! You will stand in line for hours just to get your packet of mail.

  TIP: Whenever you are going to be in a large populated city, look at a map and find a nearby small town. Have your mail forwarded to General Delivery at that much smaller Post office, and you should be able to quickly retrieve your mail without a long wait.

When having your mail forwarded to a General Delivery address, be sure to allow enough time for the sometimes slow transit times, plus a day or two for the postal people to sort it for General Delivery customers.

One advantage of using FEDEX or UPS for delivering your mail is that they will come directly to your RV site and hand you your package of mail. This feature is especially nice for those handicapped folks who have difficulty getting in and out of a vehicle.

For many people, the extra expense of delivery directly to their RV site is well worth it.

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