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Managing mail while on the road

Managing mail while on the road

by Tom Jones

Managing mail while on the road can be a challenge, but can be relatively straightforward using these tips provided by forum members.

Mail can be forwarded to just about any post office in the USA by having the mail sent there as General Delivery. Different post offices have different policies regarding the length of time they hold General Delivery mail, but forum members have reported a minimum of two weeks. This should be plenty of time for you to arrive at a destination and pick up your mail.

Mail forwarding works best via a trusted friend or relative, or a professional forwarding service. The Escapees Club and FMCA have excellent and inexpensive mail forwarding services and there are many purely commercial ones too. Note that your local post office will probably not be willing to deal with changes of address every couple weeks, though some small town post offices still provide that level of friendly service. Personally, I've found it necessary to request friends to use overnight delivery of mail and failing to do so has resulted in us being stuck at a campground waiting for the mail to arrive.

Some folks set up a mailbox at a local UPS Store and changed their mailing address for most of the important stuff to the mailbox. When on a long trip, they have the post office forward mail to the mailbox and then call the UPS store to have mail sent to whatever destination they choose.

For bill paying, mail forwarding may be too slow. Most folks pay everything online or via automatic debits to bank accounts or credit cards. For a couple of variable amount items, some folks have a fixed amount sent by their bank every month so that they know a payment gets made on time every month. Then they send an adjustment amount as a follow-up when they have a chance to check on the actual balance due.