Joe: If you are going to be traveling for any length of time this summer, you may want to have your mail forwarded from your home. The biggest challenge you have is to find a reliable person who is willing to retrieve your mail from your home mail box and forward it to you while you are on the road.
When you are ready to receive mail, all you have to do is look at a map and locate a small town that you will be traveling through in about five days. Ask your mail forwarder to put all your mail into a single envelope and to address it as follows:
c/o General Delivery
City or Town, State, Zip Code
The receiving post office will hold your mail for ten days before returning it to the sender. All you have to do to retrieve your mail is show the postal clerk your personal identification.
Here are a few tips to make things work smoothly. Select a small town post office to receive your mail. You, the tourist, will have an easier time locating the post office. You will find it easier to locate a parking place for your RV in a small town. And you’ll probably find that small town post offices seem to keep better track of general delivery mail.
Get a zip code directory from the post office or a bookstore. Not only will it provide you with each town’s zip code, you will be able to tell how small a town it is. The fewer zip codes in town, the fewer post office branches.
Not all post office branches will receive and hold general delivery mail. Once you have decided where you would like to receive your mail, call the post office at 1-800-ASK-USPS (1-800-275-8777). They will tell you which post office branch in that town can receive general delivery mail. They will also tell you that post office’s zip code, their street address and, in some cases, give you directions on how to get there.
Vicki: Ask your mail forwarder to send all your mail in a Priority Mail, Flat Rate envelope (be sure it says Flat Rate on the envelope). The envelope will usually arrive at its destination in two to three days (on a couple of occasions we have waited as long as four days).
Give your mail forwarder a sufficient supply of the Priority Mail flat rate envelopes. You can get them at your local post office and they are free.
For a nominal amount of postage your mail forwarder can stuff the envelope with as much mail as it will hold and send it any town in the United States. Remind your mail forwarder, however, that any envelope weighing more than one pound must be personally handed to a postal employee (since each post office branch seems to have its own interpretation of this rule its best to ask).
You might be able to receive your mail at a campground or RV park where you are staying. Ask the owner or manager if they will let you do this, some campgrounds do not want the responsibility of handling your mail. It is a good idea to have your mail forwarder note your arrival date on the lower left corner of the envelope, just in case the envelope arrives before you do.