How do I get mail?

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How do I get mail as an RVer? This is a question that many of those considering the RV life have. It can be a complicated one that can cause much distress. Don’t let it. Lots of people are out there living the RV life who get their mail with ease, and so can you.

There are many options when it comes to getting mail. They include forwarding it, having friends or family help, or even subscribing to a professional service. Mail was one of the many important pieces of the puzzle when we decided to take the jump, sell everything, and live full-time in our RV. It is also one of the most common topics we get asked questions about.

We have broken the process into some simple steps. First, you need to determine how you will RV. Second, if you need to change your domicile. Third, make a list of potential domicile states with their pros and cons meaning things that benefit you personally or don’t. Last, find a mail service that operates in that state and sign up.

How will you RV?

Do you plan to live in your RV full-time or to use it in a part-time capacity? While this seems to be a simple yes or no question, there is some gray area. Traveling consecutively for long periods of time is similar to traveling on a full-time basis and therefore it may require a plan for your mail. For example, if you are in your RV and away from your primary residence for 6 months, you will need to come up with a plan.

If you will only be traveling in your RV on weekends or for short vacations you will be traveling in a part-time capacity. In this scenario, you should have little concern about changing how you deal with your mail. Treating it the same as you would taking a traditional vacation will be enough. You may choose to hold your mail or even let it pile up in your mailbox.

Living full-time or for long periods of time in an RV isn’t the same for everyone. Do you plan to travel regularly or to live stationary in one location? Some RVers we have met on our journey live permanently in one RV park. Living stationary is easier when considering your mail. It typically allows you to simply change your residency and address to your new location. Some RVers we have met are “snowbirds” living 6 months out of the year in one location and returning home the rest. In this scenario, mail forwarding or a full-mail service will work. For us, we travel regularly and use a mail service that offers solutions for that.

Residency (Domicile)

Another important piece to the RVing puzzle is your residency or domicile. If you are anything like us, when we first started our planning process, we didn’t know what domicile was. The easiest way to think about it is that domicile is the legal term for your state of legal residence. If you maintain a stick and brick home you will also likely maintain your residency. For us, we sold everything and chose a new state to set up our domicile in. Before researching this, we were unaware how important your domicile and physical address is. It is used by the federal government and state government for tax purposes. Also for applications, licenses, certifications, estate planning etc. It will also impact how you get your mail.

There are many options and things to consider when deciding which state will be your new domicile. Location, taxes, process to claim residency, insurance costs, vehicle registration costs and requirements, annual in state time requirements, healthcare access and quality etc. There are a handful of states that are commonly used by RVers for domicile including Nevada, Florida, Texas, South Dakota, and Wyoming. Knowing where you are planning to set up your domicile will help you in choosing your mail company.

How do mail companies work?

There are many mail companies available to choose from. They each offer slightly different services but much of the basics are the same. For a fee they provide you a physical street address which is necessary to set up your domicile and receive your mail.

If you are like us, at first this made us a little nervous. We have always been told that you cannot open someone else’s mail! Don’t worry, this is legal. There is even a federal form, USPS form 1583, that you will have to complete allowing them to receive and open your mail.

The process is simple one. When the company receives your mail they will scan the envelope and notify you either through an email or a mobile app on your phone that you have mail. From there you will choose to have your mail either thrown in the trash, forwarded to your current location (for a fee), or have it opened and the contents scanned for your review. Once you review the scanned material you can save it in a file on their website, download it to a personal file on your own computer, or have it shredded. Additionally, you can also receive packages to these addresses which you will then have to pay to have them forwarded to you.

Escapees and

As said before, there are multiple mail companies available to choose from. However, not all companies operate in all states. We have researched many but will discuss two, Escapees and is a common company used. It operates in three of the most common states used for domicile by RVers, Florida, Texas, and South Dakota. This company is a robust one offering membership, camping discounts, a magazine, mail service, events, roadside assistance, and educational resources. To use this service one must pay for an annual membership as well as for the mail service itself. is a company that operates in many states including Nevada another common state used for domicile by RVers. It is solely a mail service and does not offer other benefits however there is no membership fee you will need to pay for.

Each company operates a little differently however they both have a tiered fee structure where you can choose the level of service that will meet you or your businesses needs. This can mean the number of envelope scans and content scans you will need per month or even the way your mail is sorted and forwarded. Don’t worry if you choose the wrong one, these plans can be changed if needed. A couple of good pointers to reduce your volume of mail include:

  1. Go paperless for as many things as you can.
  2. If you know you are receiving a package, have it sent directly to your current location instead of your mail service address.
  3. Do you like to Amazon? Use their pick up locations.

Worry Less, Research More

After reading this you may have more questions than answers. Don’t worry, that is good! We spent much time researching online our options for domicile and how to get our mail. Initially we came up with more questions than answers but after some time we were able to narrow down choices that worked for us. Nevada and

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One Comment

  1. annual in state time requirements? Really. That’s a surprising one to read about.

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