Managing mail while traveling used to be a big hassle, but now it’s easier than ever before. Here's how to manage mail while RVing on short and long trips…
When Jennifer and I first hit the road in our RV, we had to rely on family and friends to manage our mail. It was inconvenient for everyone involved.
If we were just going on a short trip and didn’t want to ask any favors, we still had to go to the post office to put a hold on our mail. Again, it was inconvenient.
We eventually discovered better ways to manage mail while RVing, which I’m going to share with you now. We'll start off with short-term solutions and then discuss long-term mail management.
How to Manage Mail While RVing Short-Term
If you’re just going on a short trip, say a couple of days to a couple of weeks, there are three main options. You can do nothing, ask for a favor, or hold your mail at the post office.
1. Do Nothing
If you’re just gone for a few days or even a week, you may not need to do anything. You can just let the mail pile up in your mailbox. Knowing how much mail you normally get, you can estimate how much time you can be gone before your box starts to overflow.
This is certainly the easiest method, but it has its obvious flaws. One of the flaws being that unscrupulous people (or even deliverymen) could realize no one’s home. They may try to take advantage of your absence to steal something.
2. Ask for a Favor
Of course, you could always ask a family member, friend, or neighbor to get your mail for you. Most neighbors don’t mind since they’re checking theirs, too. It’s not much of an inconvenience.
Or perhaps you have a friend or family member coming to water your plants or check on your house. They can get your mail, too.
The benefit of having someone get your mail while you’re gone is they can alert you if an important document comes in. Plus, they can keep your mailbox from overflowing, which would result in the post office holding your mail.
Speaking of holding your mail…
3. Put a Hold On Your Mail Online
Remember how I said it was inconvenient to go to the post office to put a hold on your mail? Well, it should be no surprise that you can now do this online.
You simply create an account on the USPS website and follow the quick and easy steps to put a hold on your mail. You can easily extend or stop your hold as well.
You can make your request up to 30 days in advance or as early as the next scheduled delivery day. They’ll hold it for up to 30 days.
How to Manage Mail While RVing Long-Term
Jennifer and I RV three-quarters of the year, so we need a more long-term solution than relying on neighbors and friends. The same goes for full-time RVers who don’t have a sticks-and-bricks house for mail to go to in the first place. The solution is a mail management service, which you can do in a couple of ways.
1. Establish a State of Residency
If you no longer have a permanent residence, you can choose a state of residence. Long story short, many RVers choose South Dakota because it has no state income tax and low RV insurance rates.
There are services like DakotaPost that make establishing residency and managing mail in South Dakota easy.
Their website describes it like this: “Supporting US citizens without a permanent residence to receive all the benefits and tax savings of being a South Dakota resident.”
- No State Income Tax
- No Pension Tax
- No State Income Tax on Social Security
- No Personal Property Tax
- No Intangible Tax on Investments
- Low Vehicle Insurance Rates
- 4% Excise Tax on Net Purchase of Vehicles and RVs
- Low vehicle License Fees
- Best Trust Laws in the Nation
DakotaPost offers mail managing services, too, which includes forwarding important mail to wherever you are at the time. But they’re not the only ones that offer mail managing services, which brings us to our next solution…
2. Get a Virtual Mailbox
Managing your mail while RVing has never been easier with virtual mailboxes. It’s also surprisingly affordable given how much value and convenience it gives you.
A virtual mailbox digitizes your physical mail, which you can then manage from your computer, phone, or tablet.
We use and personally recommend Anytime Mailbox, and have partnered with them to help our fellow RVers benefit from their excellent service.
How Anytime Mailbox Works
Anytime Mailbox is simple to use and plans start at as low as $9.99 per month.
When setting up your Anytime Mailbox, you pick from over 675 physical U.S. locations where your mail can be received
This location can be in your home city, or across the country – you choose!
The location address is usually a mail business center or “cowork” location that is authorized by the US postal service to receive and digitize your postal mail and packages.
When mail is received at the authorized location, they take a picture or “scan” the outside of the envelope. They do not open it! You then receive an alert on your phone or in your email inbox that you have a new piece of mail or package.
Then, you use the app on your phone or computer to choose what to do with the mail. You simply login into your virtual mailbox and request one of a number of different services.
You can request your mail to be opened and scanned, forwarded to another location, picked up, recycled, or shredded.
That’s the gist of it, but you can learn more about How to Use Anytime Mailbox as a Virtual Mailbox.
Are you already a member of Escapees?
If so, you can take advantage of their mail forwarding service! This is right from their website:
“Escapees RV Club operates the country’s oldest, largest and most economical private mail forwarding service. Since 1985, our Mail Forwarding Service–a commercial mail-receiving agent licensed by the U.S. Postal Service–has enabled full-time and part-time RVers to receive their mail and packages wherever they travel in North America, whenever they want, and always with our friendly, personal attention.”
And many of our RV Lifestyle members highly recommend this service.
How Do You Manage Mail While RVing?
Do you use Anytime Mailbox or a similar service? Please share in the comments how you manage mail while RVing or what you recommend.
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