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Old 05-21-2009, 05:54 AM   #1
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Mail services/forwarding etc.

My wife and I are brand new RVers. Starting in mid June we are hitting the road in our Motorhome to travel the Western side of the US. We plan to travel through the month of November. Having already met full timers on the short maiden trip we took bringing our newly purchased RV home, we know that their are a large number of you folks that travel all of the time. For us, that brings up the question of mail forwarding, bills, legal notices etc.
How do you folks handle it?

In the past we have spent several monts of the year at a second home which was easy. We simply forwarded all mail to the second home for the number of weeks/months we knew we'd be at the second location. But how do you handle forwarding mail when you're not entirely sure where you're going to be at a given time?????

Any advice and help will be appreciated.

Also, any advice on what we absolutely must see in Colorado, Utah, Nevada etc???


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Old 05-21-2009, 10:55 AM   #2
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Most of us use a mail forwarding service. We can call or email them and they will send our mail where and when we specify.

Many of us pick a domicile state that is friendly to full timers, has no state income taxes, no personal property taxes and low vehicle registration fees.

SD, TX and FL are the three most popular states I believe and they all have plenty of forwarding service choices.
Clay WA5NMR - Ex Snowbird - 1 year, Ex Full timer for 11 years - 2004 Winnebago Sightseer 35N Workhorse chassis. Honda Accord toad.
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Old 05-21-2009, 02:13 PM   #3
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I've used St. Brendan's Isle in Green Cove Springs, Florida, for several years and am happy with their service. Their Florida address allows you to "reside" in Florida, a State with no personal income tax.

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Old 05-21-2009, 03:10 PM   #4
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The UPS Stores are another excellent way to handle this.
The UPS Store: Retail packing, shipping, postal & business services locations
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Old 05-22-2009, 06:52 AM   #5
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The UPS Stores work great until you try to quit them and use someone else or buy a house. They do not want to give up your service and get real hard to deal with and get your mail.
I went with premium service at the post office until this month when I changed my residency to a mailing service in South Dakota. I used
As for sites to see in Utah, there are a lot of them. Bryce Canyon, Arches, Zion NPs to name a few. You could spend a month just visiting the highlights of Utah. And almost that long visiting Colorado.
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Old 05-22-2009, 07:27 AM   #6
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Full timers vs. Half Timers

When you are a full timer you have all of your mail (magazines, bills, newsletters, insuranse premium notices, etc) sent to the forwarding service by changing your address with the USPS. The forwarding service sends it to a designated temporary address under your direction.

When you are a half-timer (we are) and you return to your stick home you have a large task before you ... you will need to change your address back to your stick house.

I have had problems with this ... I have missed several issues of magazines and other periodicals ...

I have had better luck using the USPS Premium Mail Forwarding service ... but there have been a couple of glitches in that service (they sent the mail to the incorrect address ... I finally located the mail so it was only temporarily misplaced)
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Old 05-22-2009, 07:28 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by MtManLee View Post
The UPS Stores work great until you try to quit them and use someone else or buy a house.
Well, I've done both (quit and bought house w/ that address) not once, but twice at two different locations and not a glitch, not a skipped piece of mail, not one eyebrow raised.
2007 and 7/8ths Newmar Essex 4502
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Old 05-22-2009, 07:38 AM   #8
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Lou, you don't say specifically if you're going to full-time, but I suspect you're just doing extended travel. Pick a good mail forwarding service - there are lost of them, maybe even some in or near your home town. Escapees RV organization in Texas has one of the best. There are several in South Dakota - My Home Address and Alternative Resources are 2 that come to mind.

Set up a temporary forwarding order with your home town post office to send your mail to the service for the time you plan to be away. Then call or email the forwarding service whenever you want your mail and have them forward it to the campground where you are staying (IF the campground will accept mail - CHECK FIRST), or have the mail forwarded to General Delivery at the post office in town nearest to where you are staying. If you are in a larger town, check to see which branch accepts General Delivery mail.

We use Alternative Resources and are happy with their service. We have also authorized them to open our mail if we call and specifically request them to do so. That way if we are expecting something specific, they can check to see if it's there before we tell them to forward.

There are also mail forwarding services that will open all your mail, scan it and email it to you. I can't remember any names, but they exist. They only forward the mail you need hard copies of - the rest is shredded. Of course, you need reliable internet service to receive the emails.

For suggested places to visit, Utah is one of our favorite states - Zion, Bryce, Arches, Canyonlands, Dead Horse State Park, etc.

In Colorado, check out Durango and the Durango & Silverton Railroad. Also, Pikes Peak and the cog railway are fun.

Don't forget Arizona - Grand Canyon (North and South Rims, Painted Desert, Petrified Forest, Monument Valley, Sedona, Meteor Crater, Canyon de Chelly, Sunset Crater, Lake Meade, Lake Havasau, etc.

Also, don't forget New Mexico - Albuquerque, Santa Fe, and Taos.

Happy travels.
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Old 05-22-2009, 08:10 AM   #9
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We had the same problem How to forward our mail. First as a semi-full timer you should switch over to some type of bill pay service, we use Bank of America. That should take care of most of your bills.
Next ask a family member or a good friend if they would take care of your mail. You forward it to them and than once a month have them send it to you. Good part of that is if something important comes in they can e-mail you right away. Most CG will accept mail. The ones that don't do as paz said and have the mail sent to the Post Office where you are staying. Works great as we do this all the time.
Once you no longer have a home base than a mail forwarding service.
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Old 05-23-2009, 07:22 AM   #10
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Thanks All! This Forum is the greatest! All of your suggestions have helped me decide on a course of action that will work for me for the short haul, as well as when and if we go full time.

We are new Rvers but not new to the mail problem, albeit, our mail problem previous was much simpler. Every year we picked up and moved to a home in Colorado from June through October. Our full time home is in the New Orleans area, so we called our annual move "early evacuation." We were leaving to escape both the humidity and the threat of hurricanes. To accomodate our needs we simply had the post office temporary forward our mail to Colorado and then back to New Orleans in October. Pretty simple. But the thought of moving from place to place not knowing where or when is a lot more daunting. But thanks to all of your advice we have several options that will work.

Thanks guys, you're the greatest!
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Old 05-25-2009, 10:55 PM   #11
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We are members of FMCA and we've used their mail forwarding service without a problem. We place a temporary change of address with the USPS (6 month intervals). We contact FMCA when we are ready for them to send us our mail. We have the choice of having magazines and other types of mail sent or not. Besides the FMCA membership fee, they also charge $5 per month when you use the forwarding service, and the cost of postage.
Mic (& Rick the FishBum)
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Old 05-26-2009, 11:32 AM   #12
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Go over to the Escapees site and look at their mail forwarding program. I will say that they are the best in that they do things that most others don't do, they provide legal addresses for fulltimers for voting, registering purposes, have a string of campgrounds, etc., and while it is targeted for fulltimers, a lot of snowbirds/part-timers also use the service. We are extremely happy with them. That said, if you only need a few months worth to see if you are going to like it, it might be easier to use a local UPS Mailbox store for temporary forwarding. And if you haven't do so already, get as much as possible online - just makes life so much easier whether you are traveling or not.

Barbara & David O'Keeffe
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Old 05-28-2009, 10:40 AM   #13
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If I had a motorhome, was not a fulltimer, and didn't have a friend or relative that was willing to handle my mail for me while I was on an extended trip, I'd join FMCA and use their free mail forwarding service.

As far as bills are concerned, we have all of our bills on a "paperless" basis and have everything automatically deducted from either a credit card or our checking account...that includes our credit card payments (paid in full each month). That way, the only thing we have to worry about is making sure we have enough money in the checking account to cover the automatic withdrawals.

I'm not sure what you mean by "legal notices." I don't remember ever receiving any legal notices, but if we did, I guess they'd be sent to our mail forwarding address just like all of our other mail.
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Old 05-28-2009, 08:32 PM   #14
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Hi Ho: I think your original question has been well answered. As to travel in the western states in November: It can get cold and snow. This makes travel a real hassel at times. I would pick the southern desert regions. Anything south of St. George, Utah. Some of the national parks in Utah are ok in November; it just depends on the weather. As far as Colorado is concerned, I would wait till spring.
Have fun, Dirk
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