How Do Full-Time RVers Get Their Mail and Packages?

If you are thinking about living in your RV and traveling around the country, you’ve probably wondered how in the world full-time RVers get mail and packages. After all, mail is inevitable. Everyone needs to receive mail at some time or another. So, before you embark on your long-term adventure, it’s important to figure out how you are going to get yours.


Without a permanent residential address, it may seem complicated. Fortunately, there are several options out there that can help.

Use general delivery mail

Backpackers will tell you from experience that the easiest way to get mail without a permanent address is to use general delivery mail. If you are unfamiliar with general delivery mail, it works like this: you have your mail sent to a nearby post office with your first and last name as well as the words “Care of General Delivery” with the post office address on the envelope or parcel.


This option is entirely free and gives you lots of mobility. However, if you are changing locations frequently, it may be a hassle to update your address through all of your subscriptions, bills, etc. It also only works for mail delivered through USPS. But if you plan on not staying in a park or are staying in a park that does not accept mail, it can be a great selection. Though, if you do choose to use general delivery, take note of how long they will hold your mail so you know how frequently to retrieve it.

Get a local P.O. box

Assuming you plan on staying in one spot for an extended period of time, you may want to consider purchasing a local post office box (P.O. box) to receive your mail. A P.O. box is a secure box located inside the post office that has a unique number assigned to you. Mail is delivered here for you to pick up at your convenience.


This is a great choice if you are expecting sensitive or confidential materials in the mail, like passports, vehicle registration, or credit card information. P.O. boxes provide security so that you don’t have to worry about someone snagging your important documents.


The downside is that P.O. boxes are not free and you have to rent them for 6-12 months at a time from your local post office. The cost will vary depending on the size of the box, the length of time for which you are renting it, and surprisingly, the location. Generally speaking though, you’ll be looking at up to $75 for a six month rental.


You may want to consider renting a small town P.O. box as you may need to account for parking your RV outside the post office. This becomes increasingly difficult in larger cities.

Pay for mail scanning services

For tech-savvy travelers that plan on having access to a stable WiFi or data connection, mail scanning is a fantastic option. Put simply, you hire a company (such as Escapees RV Club) to receive and scan your mail. They will notify you when you have new mail, which you can easily view and download through a secure, password-protected portal. Upon your request, important documents can be destroyed after being scanned.


This option is ideal for the whimsical traveler, those don’t know where they’re going to be or for how long. After all, who wouldn’t want to just get all of their mail on their devices?


Of course, a service such as this comes with a price. Escapees RV Club offers this service for $10.00/month, plus $0.50 per page scanned. This price includes the ability to view envelopes, scan contents, forward mail, and destroy mail. For some, this is completely doable. For others, like those that receive a large volume of mail, this may be a hefty ask.


Evaluate your travel plans and determine whether cheaper options are available to you. If not, mail scanning services can be a life saver.

Forward mail to a friend or family member

Often the easiest way to receive your mail while living in an RV full-time is to forward your mail to a friend or family member.


The reason this is most ideal is so that you have fewer permanent addresses on your credit report. Too many addresses make you look unhoused or transient, which, though it may be true, may impact your ability to qualify for a line of credit. When it comes to permanent addresses, it’s important to look as stable as possible. Moving around frequently can make you appear unstable, and therefore unable to pay debts. By entrusting your mail with someone you trust, in the eyes of the credit bureaus, you will appear to live in one place for a longer period of time.


Another reason using a friend or family member’s address is helpful is that literally everyone is required to have some sort of residential address. You cannot list a P.O. box as your address on your driver’s license, passport, voter registration or even as your address on file with an employer.


If mail is important, your friend or family member can forward the mail to you using general delivery mail or a P.O. box. Some campgrounds will also accept mail for you, but you should probably still use other options as a failsafe.

These are just four of the most commonly used mail forwarding services available to full-time RVers. Others may exist, but we recommend one of these for the most secure and dependable service.


As you plan to RV full-time, take the time to consider these options and determine which one best suits your needs.


Mail forwarding is a big decision. So is living out of your RV. If you need help finding the right RV to call home, find a local Grand Design RV dealer near you to discover the possibilities.