The Complete Guide to Mail For RVers
Getting Your Mail While RVing Full-time
Full-time RVers know the burden of not having a permanent mailing address and while usually not having roots and ties to one specific location makes our life carefree and perfect for travel living, when it comes to easily and quickly getting your mail on the go this isn’t always the case.
Since RVers are constantly on the move, just grabbing your mail from the mailbox at the end of the driveway is no longer an option and it’s something most people take for granted. Easily having packages delivered to the front door and placing outgoing mail in the box with the red flag raised are things of the past. Getting your mail while RVing full-time takes some getting used to!
With modern-day technology many things are easy to take care of and receive online, like online billing and e-statements, but other things like voter registration, receiving packages and medication refills will still require a physical mailing address as well as the need to forward them to your location.
In this guide, I’ll cover several mail options for RVers regardless of whether you travel full-time, part-time, seasonally of just on the weekends. To make sure you’re getting all your important documents, lifestyle magazines, prescription medications and other important mail on time, you’ll need to make sure you have your ducks lined up before hitting the road, so why not start now?
I’ve split this guide into two sections to keep the information on getting your while RVing, easy to follow and easy to refer back to for quick reference when you need it!
- Choosing where to send your mail
- Receiving your mail while RVing
Part 1: Choosing Where To Send You Mail
The first concern when figuring out what to do about getting your mail while you travel is to decide where you will send all of your mail. This really needs to be one specific location as opposed to having certain pieces shipped here and there, which will prove hard to keep up with and track.
I actually tried this option, and let me tell you… it’s more work and ended up costing me more money in the end.
Mail Forwarding Services For RVers
Mail forwarding services give you a permanent address where you can always have your mail sent to either a P.O. Box or street address that’s tied to your account. If you’re planning on traveling full-time or have already started RVing, this is most often the best choice due to flexibility of service options offered with each service.
Depending on which state you have chosen for your RV domicile, you will have a variety of options to choose from. But no matter what mail forwarding service you select here are a few key factors you’ll want to consider before making your final decision.
Possible Services Offered by Mail Forwarding Servicers:
- Viewing the fronts of envelopes, packages and magazines
- Physical street address
- Help setting up a domicile.
- Ability to request scanned images of the contents of your envelops online.
- Request shredding and recycling of our unwanted mail
- Freeze your account when you don’t need it.
- Monthly billing option.
- Postage account or pay per service
- Smartphone app for account access
- Call in to review your mail over the phone with staff member.
- No limits on mail or packages received
- Ship your mail on a schedule or whenever you want.
- Email notifications for outgoing shipment
- Tracking numbers for all shipments.’
- No Storage fees.
- Email notification on mail received.
Escapees Mail Service
Escapees Mail Service is part of the Escapees RV Club, which has been around for about 40 years and is very well-known in the RV community. The offer a variety of services and benefits for members, including live events, RV advocacy and you guessed it- mail forwarding! They offer mail forwarding services for RVers in 3 states: Texas, Florida and South Dakota- which are also the three most selected domicile states for RVers. Their staff of over 40 employees makes them probably the largest mail forwarding service in the US. Service offered include scanning, shredding, sorting and even a day of email letting you know when mail has been sent.
My RV Mail/Good Sam Mail Service
This option is one of the top mail forwarding service by public opinion. It is a top used option, primarily because of the wide variety of plan options and the familiarity of RVers to the Good Sam brand. This service is available to not only RVers, but small businesses, military families, boaters, traveling nurses and everyone else! It’s pretty all-inclusive and provides two plans to choose from, basic and premium. Both plans include great services like a physical street address in Florida, a state-of-the-art account management tool, the option to shred and recycle junk or unwanted mail, and the ability to receive unlimited packages, but the premium package includes the ability to view the fronts of envelopes, packages, and magazines and request scanned pages, which are my favorite features!
St. Brendan’s Isle
St. Brendan’s Isle is a stable location in Clay County Florida that was designed for full-time and part-time travelers in mind. Providing a street address, instead of a PO Box this service provider can also help you to establish your Florida residency if you haven’t already done so. Included in their Travelers Special mail option, you’ll find monthly mailing options without an annual commitment, and a 24-hour online account manager tool which are two awesome benefits for those who love to have everything digital!
The Traveling Mailbox is an option that offers an all-digital experience! Their service operates by scanning all mail into an online system that you can access 24/7 anywhere in the world. It eliminates the need for most physical mail copies, unless of course you want them and if that’s the case the Traveling Mailbox can just forward them to you directly. If you enjoy the ability to read all your mail online without the need to receive physical copies, this might be the best option for you!
What Mail Forwarding Services Do You Need?
In choosing your mail forwarding service, you need to think about the things you actually NEED in order to make getting your mail on the road as easy as possible. With so many options, there just isn’t a one size fits all approach, so you’ll have to sort through the available services and decide which one will be your perfect fit!
Consider the following when making your decision:
- Do you need a real address or a PO Box address? Packages from FedEx and UPS cannot go to a PO Box, so do not use the cheaper option if you plan on getting many packages.
- Are you big on delivery notifications and receipts, pay attention to which services offer this.
- Do you need paper scanning for your mail? And if you do, do you need the envelope scanning option in order to show you what came in or full document scanning rather than physically mailing your envelopes?
- Do you need storage? Or do you need your mail sent more frequently?
- Do you get a lot of junk mail? Many services include junk mail handling for a cheaper price than getting it all shipped to you.
Using the USPS Mail Service For Mail Forwarding
Instead of getting a “permanent address” you can give yourself a change of address through the post office. When you know that you are moving remote locations, you can put a hold on all mail and put in an address change. Once you are at your new location, you can release all of your mail.
While I don’t really every recommend this options, it is definitely best used when you will be staying in one location for a longer length of time and will only need your mail sent to that one place. Changing where your mail gets sent frequently will not only be a tedious process, but could also cause delays in receiving your mail, lost mail items and more confusion that it’s probably worth.
Use this option with caution and make sure to talk with the post office to get the full run down on details before attempting to start or stop forwarding in this manner.
Using Friends and Family
This is a free or at least a much cheaper option which many RVers will at least give some thought. Instead of paying for a monthly mail service or to change your address, you can use the address of a family member or friend who is willing to receive, sort and ship your mail while you’re out having a great time. Technically, this means you’ll be ‘living’ with this person. This option is great for those who will be circling back to the same location several times throughout the year, those on a budget or looking to cut costs, as well as those who are only planning on traveling part-time.
When deciding if using a friend of family member’s address is the best option, think about the character traits of the person in general.
- Is this personal well-organized?
- Are they good at communicating with you over the phone?
- Do you find them to be responsible?
- Are they able to dedicate the time and energy required in keeping up with your personal mail without hiccups?
- Does this person pay attention to details?
- Are they usually easy to reach?
- Do they travel a lot or leave town for long spans of time?
If you find that the person you have in mind is a good fit and you feel they can handle the task and do a great job, then this might be the best option for you! When your mail piles up, you reach a new location, or you need something shipped, your friend or family members can ship you your mail in a flat rate box, envelope or even scan copies of letters you might need immediately. This option requires trust and patience but can save a lot of money, while giving you another excuse to keep in touch with friends and family back home!
Part 2: Receiving Your Mail While Traveling
Once you’ve decided where you will be receiving your mail while you’re out traveling in your RV, it’s time to consider the options available for actually having the mail sent to you. This can sometimes be a little tricky depending on where you will be traveling and how long you plan to be at the location, but it’s always doable. For travelers who move slow, staying in one destination for weeks or months at a time, this is bound to be a little less stressful and for those who hop around and change plans often, it will take more patience and fine tuning to get into a good rhythm
Receiving Mail Through General Delivery
The easiest option for receiving your mail while out RVing, is to just have your mail sent to the post office in a location you plan to be in. It’s so easy and there are no setup fees required! One thing to keep in mind is to just make sure you call the actual post office to verify the exact location you are calling offers the general delivery service, since not all post offices do.
You can only receive mail sent through USPS using General Delivery and when you arrive at the Post Office to pick up your mail, your name must match the name on your driver’s license.
Make sure you also ask how long each particular location will hold the mail. This can vary based on location and is sometimes as short as 10 days and other times as long as 30 days. Once you’ve got the location verified, just address your packages or envelopes as follows:
Your Name Here
City, State Zip
This is a great option for RV parks and campgrounds that do not allow guests to send their mail directly to the park as well as for RVers who prefer to boondock or just not stay inside campgrounds for the majority of their travels. Going to a local small town’s post office to pick up my mail has never been an issue; the lines are usually really short and the people are almost always super friendly!
Receiving Mail at RV Parks & Campgrounds
If you’re an RV traveler who likes to stay at various campgrounds and RV parks across the map, then you’re in luck… many RV parks and campgrounds in the US will allow guests to have packages and sometimes mail sent directly to them while on-site!
You can make arrangements prior to your stay, if you know the exact dates you’ll be staying at the particular park, but if you’re like me and tend to change things at the last minute, forwarding mail and shipping packages with 2-3 days shipping after arrival tends to work best!
My best advice when using this option is to either call or visit the front office of the campground prior to having anything shipped. I have skipped this step one too many times and have had instances where a package was returned as well as having to pay up to $5 per box for Amazon packages that I wasn’t really excited about.
We have stayed at many RV parks and campgrounds, many inside the Thousand Trails Membership system and I have to say we usually never have a problem getting our mail or packages. Each park has different rules and unfortunately some will charge you per package to pick your mail up, but sometimes its just the price of convenience.
Sometimes campgrounds have rules regarding receiving regular mail, which might allow someone to use the park for setting up residency and other times they might just not have staff or space available to house all the possible packages from guests. So just check first!
Okay so there you have it the Complete Guide to Mail for RVers!
Hopefully this guide was helpful in laying the ground work and providing the information you need to know about how to get your mail while RVing full-time, part-time or seasonally!
RVing allows us the freedom to travel as we please, and mail shouldn’t be a big hurdle! Choose the best way for you to receive your mail while out on the road and then choose where to send it. Sometimes one solution will work for years, and other times only a season. No need to worry – you can choose whichever ones work best for your situation and use them as needed.
Followup with the resources I mentioned in this post and get the ball rolling on which path will help you get the on the road or maybe just simply your current RV life!