How Do You Get Mail When You Live In An RV?
Earth Class Mail Team
December 16, 2020
Living in an RV affords you so much freedom. You can go where you want, live life on your own terms, and you’re in total control of your immediate environment—an abiding concern these days when we’re all trying to avoid COVID-19 exposure. And if you’re a freelancer, remote worker, or a digital nomad of any kind, it doesn’t really matter where you are.
Of course, there are some drawbacks to living a nomadic life. You don’t always have reliable cell service or Wi-Fi. If you’re moving from a house or an apartment, you’ll probably have to get rid of a lot of stuff or put it in storage.
And what about your postal mail? Granted, most of us use email and other forms of digital communication more these days. However, you still need a physical address, especially if you have a business license. You’ll also need an address to register your vehicle, pay your taxes, maintain a bank account, credit cards, insurance, and a driver’s license. So even if you’re living “off the grid,” as it were, you can’t just be a free particle in the universe – and you can’t use your RV as an address unless you’ve got it parked at a campsite that will accept postal mail for you.
But what if you’re on the road all the time? How is that going to work? Stay with us here; there might still be a few options you haven’t considered.
Five Ways To Receive Postal Mail
When you don’t want to miss any critical communications, but you also can’t be tied down to a location. Even so, getting your postal mail doesn’t have to be a complicated process. There are still plenty of ways to make it work; some options are more suited to a stationary lifestyle, while others are better for those on the move.
Mail Forwarding Option 1: Family and Friends
Suppose you have family or a friend who is amenable to handling your postal mail. In that case, you can ask them to forward it to you periodically as it comes in. However, there are always caveats. Are they reliable? Can you trust them to let you know when something important arrives? Will they respect your privacy? If that person is letting you use their address, it could also result in legal domicile concerns for you in areas like taxation, estate law, and jurisdiction.
Family and friends forwarding is undoubtedly a cheaper option, but there’s huge potential here for glitches. There might be times when they’ll need to forward packages, which means they’ll have to shell out for additional postage on top of the time and effort involved. And, if you miss a deadline because a piece of mail didn’t get to you in time, it might be the end of your friendship or the beginning of a lifelong feud. Do you really want to take that risk?
Mail Forwarding Option 2: P.O. Box With Mail Forwarding Service
If you’d prefer to keep your mail forwarding “all business,” many postal service outlets will forward your postal mail to you – which is fine, as long as you don’t move around too much. Issues could arise if you move on down the road and forget to check in with your mail service to let them know. Assuming that most postal mail you receive is important, this is not ideal for your typical RV-er. Still, if you are a highly organized individual, you can probably make it work.
Your local USPS will hold or forward your postal mail, but if you change locations periodically, your mail can just as easily disappear into a black hole, never to be seen again. Plus, their pricing is not exactly competitive – you can get more personalized service at better rates elsewhere.
A P.O. Box is great for many things, but it doesn’t give you a legal business or residential address. If you need a street address, be sure you choose a postal service that offers that. If you are in and around a certain locale most of the time, this option is usually just fine. When you hit the road, you can ask for your postal mail to be held or forwarded, or you can have a friend, family member, or business colleague pick it up for you.
If you’re having your mail forwarded or choosing any other services that a postal service offers, be sure to check rates for the various options you need. You’ll pay a rental fee for your P.O. box, but forwarding and other services are extra and can add up pretty quickly.
For example, if you tend to receive a lot of packages, the expense will be somewhat less predictable as the cost of postage to send it on will vary depending on what zip code you’re in.
Plus, though most services will tell you that you have mail, they don’t tell you what’s inside. Do you really want to pay to have your junk mail chase you around the country? Or if you’re waiting on something time-sensitive, how will you know it’s in there?
Virtual mailbox services are ideal for full-time RV-ers, but keep in mind, not all virtual services are created equal. Virtual mail services are offered by shared office providers, coworking facilities, and private mail handling services like UPS. Be sure you check the fine print before making a commitment; you’ll want to make sure you’re getting the services you need at a price that makes sense for your budget.
Earth Class Mail’s virtual mailbox is a simple way to take care of all your nomadic mail concerns. You’ll get a physical business address, physical storage, cloud storage, and you can even have more than one user on the account.
Here’s how it works. Your postal mail is sent to your Earth Class Mail business address. These are commercial addresses that you can use for business registration, on your website, and on all of your marketing collateral.
As soon as your postal mail is received at one of our processing centers, we scan it to a pdf file and email it to you. Generally, items you receive will be in your account the same day. However, if your Earth Class Mail address is in a city where we don’t have a processing facility, it might take a little extra time.
When you sync your account with cloud storage, such as Dropbox, Box.com, or Google Drive, it is automatically sent there, but you can also download the files directly to your computer if you prefer.
If you receive checks, your account can be linked to your preferred accounting software to facilitate e-deposits. We’ll hold the physical mail for 30 days, though packages are only kept for 10 days, meaning you’ll need to have somebody pick it up, or we’ll forward it to the address you give us. Secure shredding services are included in your monthly plan, and there are plenty of special handling options to choose from, including expedited scanning. If you want one less thing to worry about, you can even automate your check deposits to maintain cash flow.
Living in an RV is the ultimate freedom for many people, but the question of how you receive your postal mail is always a concern. Earth Class Mail offers flexible, secure virtual mailbox plans that are perfect for today’s digital nomad. Browse our virtual mailbox plans, or if you would like to learn more, reach out today. We’d love to be a part of your adventure.
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