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One of the challenges long term RV travelers face is how to get important mail while traveling. Your power and phone bills still need to be paid even when you're not at home. If you've given up your house for full-time traveling, you'll still need to get your Social Security checks, DMV documents, bank statements and credit card bills. How, then, can you get your mail while on the road?
With over 25 years of experience handling mail for RV travelers, here are some tips that The Postal Depot can offer for mail receiving and mail forwarding:
Rent a mailbox with a physical address. If you rent a box at the local Post Office branch, you won't be able to receive packages or mail from any carrier other than the good old U.S.P.S. Also, the Post Office can't forward your mail to various addresses you might be at while traveling around the country. A mailbox at a commercial mail service center, like The Postal Depot, can offer you a true street address place for receiving your mail.
Sign up for a mail forwarding service. Choose a reliable mail forwarding service that's experienced in forwarding mail to RV travelers. You'll be able to have your mail sent to you as often or as little as you'd like anywhere you might be in the United States. The best services forward your mail to you for the actual cost of postage plus a flat handling fee. This handling fee should include the cost of the envelope used and all other supplies. Be careful of the hidden costs some forwarding agencies tack on to their so called low handling fees.
Plan your trip around small towns. When you need your mail forwarded to you, look on a map for a small town that you'll be traveling through in five to seven days. Why a small town? Because you can have your mail sent to that town's Post Office c/o General Delivery. Big city Post Offices probably won't offer this service. The Post Office receiving your mail will hold it for 10 days before returning it to the sender. Your general delivery mail address will look like this:
c/o General Delivery
City, State, Zip Code
Remember that not all Post Offices will accept and hold mail arriving c/o General Delivery, so it's a good idea to call before you have your mail sent. Call the Post Office's toll-free number (1-800-ASK-USPS) and ask if the Post Office in that town will receive General Delivery mail.
Use Flat-rate Priority Mail Envelopes. If possible, have your mail forwarded to you in a Priority Mail Flat Rate envelope. As long as your mail fits in this envelope, the postage price is the same regardless of weight. Also, Priority Mail usually arrives at its destination (anywhere in the United States ) in two to three days.
Consider having only first-class mail sent. Most bills, statements, payments, letters, postcards and other important mail are sent via first-class mail. Advertisements, sales magazines and basic “junk mail” are usually sent presorted standard (second-class). You can save money on postage by having your mail forwarding service send you first-class mail only. The remaining mail can be held in your mailbox. If you enjoy looking through ads and sales magazines, like many people do, have all your mail forwarded.
Rent a mailbox with a Nevada address. Even though the typical full-time RV traveler is retired, many continue to maintain a corporation. Consider incorporating in Nevada to save money. Nevada is one of the most tax-friendly states in the U.S. For a nominal amount of money, you can rent a mailbox with a Nevada physical street address, obtain the services of a Nevada Resident Agent and incorporate your business through the Nevada Secretary of State while enjoying Nevada 's corporate tax benefits.
The last thing on your mind while relaxing in your RV should be worrying about your mail. By becoming familiar with the above tips, mail delivery won't be much of an issue.