drivecrosscountry.net
(C) 2002-2014  J. Watson       All rights reserved  
Mail

The post office will hold mail for up to 30 days.  (There is a special “snowbird”
service for U. S. Postal Service customers who will be at a fixed location for a period
of two weeks to one year. This is not generally suitable for travelers who are
touring.)  

Except for full time travelers, the easiest way to handle mail is to ask a relative or
neighbor to pick it up for you and send it to you every now ‘n then.  This eliminates
the need to issue “change of address” instructions to people who send mail to you
and then changing back after your return.  They can even cull out the mail you are
not interested in receiving.  Some travelers ask family members to handle routine
bills, etc.  

Major RV organizations provide dependable mail-forwarding services (
Good Sam,
FMCA, SKP
).  These are geared to travelers who are “full-timers” or do long term
extended travel.  Each forwards mail on a regular cycle with the member providing
addresses as they travel.  If the RV park or motel does not accept mail the best
forwarding address is the “General Delivery” window of a small post office along
your route.   

As extended travelers, home about four to six months a year, we have been
pleased with our neighborhood "private mailbox" (PMB) services e.g. The
UPS
Store
.  We use the local address year-round when we are home and away –
avoiding the need to issue “change of address” notices to people who send mail to
us.  On the road we phone the service to ship packages to us at the location we
expect to be at on the day we request it to arrive.  (
FedEx and UPS shipments
must be to a street address, not a post office.)  By using
FedEx or UPS you have
tracking numbers to monitor the location of the package.  You must make sure you
have the correct shipping address, phone number and permission of the receiving
location – usually no problem.  Overnight or two day service is available.  

On the downside,
be sure the mailbox/mail forwarding service is financially
stable
, as even long established firms have been known to go out of business on
short notice.  (
UPS Stores are franchised and can go out of business.)  This can be
a serious matter as postal regulations do not permit "change of address"
forwarding after a private mail box company suspends service, and if you are on
the road you may not hear of the failure for an extended period of time.  

We maintain a current list of people and companies to be notified by us if a
change of address is required.
 Several years ago we were surprised to receive a
package from our mail service with our mail and a note that the company had
entered bankruptcy.  The package was our only notification.  This was sent to the
last campground to which they had sent our mail.  Had we been traveling, as we
normally do, we would not have received the package and not learned of the
problem for several weeks -- and all of our mail could have been lost.  We
immediately notified all people and companies of our new address.  Our list includes
addresses and 800 numbers, etc.
Travel Letters