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Old 05-07-2011, 12:13 PM   #1
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Alaska & mail

In Mike & Terri Churchs' book ALASKAN CAMPING, it states that you can have you mail sent GENERAL DELIVERY of a town you expect to be in. It goes on to list a number of towns & zip codes. Seems a little riskey, has anyone ever done this?
JOHN
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Old 05-07-2011, 01:22 PM   #2
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This did not work well for us in 2006. The post office in the town we had mail forwarded to had closed. That mail was processed through the Anchorage PO. Anchorage immediately returned the mail to sender which they were not supposed to do. We had the mail resent to a future stop and received it ok.

In today's world five years later, with all the e-delivery and payment options, I don't think I would even bother with mail forwarding again.
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Old 05-07-2011, 02:23 PM   #3
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Worked fine for us. We had it sent to the Tok PO on the way into Alaska, and also to Homer and Seward, as I recall. Probably a couple other places, we were there all summer.

If you use Priority Mail, it's only 4 days or so from the lower 48.

joe
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Old 05-07-2011, 03:40 PM   #4
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Another alternative - one we use every year - is to use the USPS's Premium Forwarding Service. It is more pricey than most other mail forwarding services but it is very reliable.
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Old 05-07-2011, 08:04 PM   #5
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Not specific to Alaska but we've been using mail forwarding to General Delivery for the past year and a half with no issues at all. In fact we do all our mail this way and have used it for all the states we've visited so far (~15).The key is to call ahead to the local post office you're going to use and double check that:

A/ They are still open/in business
B/ They accept General Delivery

If the answer is yes to both the above you're good to go.
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Old 05-07-2011, 08:15 PM   #6
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We have mail sent c/o General Delivery often and did so in Alaska in 2002. Just make sure the post office accepts GD mail (every post office has a postal guide that identifies the General Delivery P.O.). be aware that they do not hold mail indefinitely for you and the local postmaster has discretion for his post office. I've seen places that hold as long as 30 days and others as short as 7 days.
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Old 05-09-2011, 07:26 AM   #7
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Hi All:

We had to use General Delivery a few times while running around Alaska (Valdez, Hyder, etc.) but never had any problem, ....er....well,..... in Hyder we did have to wait an extra day for mountain/fjord weather to clear up enough to let the mail plane (float plane from Ketchican) get in. Could have been an extra week as far as we were concerned...we LOVED the place!!

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Old 05-09-2011, 07:45 AM   #8
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Thanks for all of the above, it's nice to hear from those who have "been there, done that". We still aren't sure what we are going to do, but this sure helps. I guess we need to decide quick, we leave N.Y. next week for Alaska, after a long few days stop over in Yellowstone.
John & Stephanie
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Old 05-09-2011, 09:45 AM   #9
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I should've added in my post regarding Premium Mail Service through the Post Office that you get EVERYTHING including brochures, flyers, newspapers, magazines etc. Many people don't like this but I do. At least you have gotten a lot of good advice from folks here. Enjoy your trip.
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Old 05-13-2011, 04:05 PM   #10
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Be aware that small towns in Alaska may only receive mail once or twice a week from Anchorage or Fairbanks. And they may not hold it more than a week or two either. You need to plan your dates to coincide with mail deliveries.
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Old 05-13-2011, 05:05 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gary RVRoamer View Post
Be aware that small towns in Alaska may only receive mail once or twice a week from Anchorage or Fairbanks. And they may not hold it more than a week or two either. You need to plan your dates to coincide with mail deliveries.
This is a good point, we always use General Delivery and DO NOT rely on CG's in case we have to leave. If you send it priority and it does not come in time, a simple call to the PO and they will (should) send it on to another PO. We were waiting in Bonner's Ferry, ID for our mail and it never showed up for some reason, we called a couple days later to check on it. They had received it and had no problem sending on to Tok, AK for us. No cost to us and it was there when we arrived.

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