When we began this journey 20 years ago, I relied on family members to gather our mail from a PO Box and send it to wherever we were going to be for a few days. This meant paying for overnight or express mail a couple times per month and of course putting a burden on my family.
At one point I even bought prepaid express mail stamps and gave them to my daughter with the envelops you get at the post office. Each stamp cost me about $20. But hey, the envelop was free.
I was still managing and creating websites at that time and all invoices were printed, double copies, and mailed. That meant the checks were also mailed back to me. That system required a printer, envelopes, paper, hardcopy file storage, and stamps.
As you will learn as you hit the road, everything you put into the trailer seems to take up a lot of space. A bag of tortilla chips from Costco, which does not look that huge in the store, can become a source of stress as you continuously have to move it from spot to spot.
Thankfully, my clients transitioned into the 21st century by 2014 and allowed me to send electronic invoices with online payment. This saves me a ton of time, resources, and cubic feet. If I need something printed now, I just go to Office Depot.
We will discuss automation in another article, but that eliminated a ton of mail.
There are a few ways to collect necessary mail, like absentee ballets or new bank cards. Here are some things to consider as we all have different situations.
- Maintain a PO Box with family or friends in the state where your vehicles are registered. I will save the discussion about selecting a domicile state for another article, but it is an important consideration. If you get things automated, you may only need them to mail you something every 4-6 weeks. Your package would be mailed to a spot you are staying or to General Delivery.
- If you have no family and friends in the same state, you can use a PMB, Private Mailbox. This is a service that allows you to have a street address, such as 123 Main Street, #345. This comes in handy because some things will not ship to a PO Box. Place like Mailboxes Etc. or other shipping places offer this type of service. Shop around.
- If you need something in a hurry, you can have it sent to a post office directly using General Delivery. Your address in this case is Your Name, General Delivery, City, State, Zip. Be sure you have the right zip code for the post office. This works while traveling and when you will be in a spot a few days. Don’t count on it arriving on time.
- There are organizations for fulltime RV’ers that offer the PMB service, but I found them to be a bit more expensive. If you want to have them scan your mail and email it to you, then you might prefer this route.
Mail is not an issue for us any longer. All my bills are automated and paperless, I eliminated magazines because I can view them online, and Amazon delivers to my motorhome. Now I need to focus on doing the same for my inbox.