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If you decide to hit the road for any period of time, you might need a mail forwarding service like Escapees Mail Service. This is especially true if you become a full-time RVer.
Full-time or not, you're probably wondering what to do about your mail. Do you need mail forwarding?
Marshall and I each used Escapees Mail Service while we were full-time RVing. For my 5.5 years and his 6.5 years, they worked flawlessly for each of us.
Do I Need Escapees Mail Service As An RVer?
That depends. How long will you be on your trip?
First, no matter whether you go part-time or full-time, you MUST have a 'home' address (claim a state of residency) for legal purposes. (Escapees can give you a domicile address if you aren't keeping a physical address.)
If you do maintain a full-time residence, and only RV for a few months at a time, you may not need Escapees Mail Service.
Depending on how long you're out, you might ask your friend or neighbor to get your mail for you. Or you could have the USPS forward your mail if you're going to just one destination for a year or less. (But pfffft, what fun is that??)
However, if you are planning to hit the road for a year or more, or don't have anyone to manage your mail for you at your physical residence, you may need to have your mail forwarded by a service.
Enter Escapees RV Club.
They offer mail forwarding and so much more. Marshall used their mail service for 6.5 years, I used it for 5.5 years.
Here's what you need to know about their mail forwarding.
Escapees Mail Service
When you hit the road for a period of time, you need a way to get your mail. (Unless you plan to stay at one or more campgrounds that allow you to have mail sent there.)
What Escapees Mail Service does is give you an address at their mail sorting center. Their sorting facility is located in Livingston, Texas.
When you are ready to receive mail wherever you are, you give them an address where you want your mail to be sent.
If you're on the road where can you have it sent? There are a few options:
- USPS general delivery or get a PO Box (PO Box has a fee)
- Locally run shipping store
- Your campground if they allow it
You can use the closest USPS location that offers General Delivery (Most of them allow it). Use their app or their website to find out if they offer general delivery, or call and ask.
To use General Delivery, have them address it like this:
City, State, Zip
There is no street address needed.
You could also set up a PO Box at your closest post office. They offer 3, 6, and 12 month leases.
UPS and FedEx
You can have it sent to the closest UPS or FedEx location. This includes UPS/FedEx stores and shipping hubs.
Local Shipping Store
Many towns have small, locally owned and operated shipping stores where you can ship packages out. They often also sell miscellaneous shipping supplies.
These businesses allow you to have items shipped to their address, but often charge a nominal fee to accept your package. If they don't accept USPS deliveries, you can have the Escapees send your accumulated mail via UPS or FedEx.
Some do allow you to send mail to their office. Some do not. Check with them ahead of time.
Escapees Mail Sorting Options
Escapees offers three categories for mail sorting:
- Category A: All mail types are sent. (Flyers, magazines, letters, etc)
- Category B: Only selected categories are sent (You specify what types you do or don't want sent)
- Category C: Custom Mail Only (100% customizable. You can say you want only X mag but not Y mag)
Remember, the more mail that gets sent to you, the more it costs in postage.
I only used category A. Once or twice I asked them to open a piece of mail for me and scan and they did.
Also, I started receiving People magazine though I didn't order or pay for it. I asked them to not send those and they did just that. Don't think I was charged either time. (Maybe I was. I told them to keep and enjoy the People mags!)
Here's what you get with each category in a simple chart:
Managing Your Escapees Mail Service Account
You can do everything online! (yay!)
Or, you can call to make requests or changes. This is nice because it doesn't matter if you don't do well with technology- you can always call and talk to a real human.
Online, you can arrange to have mail sent, change your category type, send address changes, whatever.
I, Kelly, would simply email them and ask what I had in my box. If there was something I wanted, I requested (via email) to have my mail sent. Easy-peasy!
Why Two Addresses??
If you need a domicile address from Escapees (an 'official' home address), and you don't domicile in Texas, you're going to get two addresses if you want mail forwarding. (They also offer domicile addresses in South Dakota and Florida.)
The non-Texas address you use for legal purposes. The Texas address is for regular mail.
See my story below for why you wouldn't want to send everything to your non-Texas address provided.
Kelly on Having Two Escapees Addresses
When I hit the road back in May of 2015, I could no longer use my home address as it was rented out. I went through Escapees RV Club to get a domicile address and a mailing address.
I had been living in Florida so it made sense to domicile in Florida. They gave me a legal address to use in Bushnell, Florida. This is where they have one of their RV parks. However, their mail sorting facility is NOT in Florida. It's in Texas.
So, I had the Bushnell, Florida legal domicile address to use for health insurance, taxes, driver license, etc. (Or for anything I wanted to use it for.)
However, anything sent to that address had to be forwarded to my Texas address (the mail sorting facility).
Anything that was sent to Florida cost an extra $1 to be forwarded to Texas. I prefer not to waste money so I ONLY used the Florida address for legal address stuff I needed like the IRS, insurances, etc.
And that's why, if you want a domicile address AND forwarding, and you domicile anywhere but in Texas, with Escapees you will have two addresses assigned to you. May sound a little complicated, but it's pretty simple.
Another service Escapees Mail Service provides is mail scanning. They scan each envelope as they arrive. You are emailed each arrival to see what you got.
You then tell them which items you'll want forwarded and what you want trashed. Simple as that!
This costs an additional $10 per month if you choose the A category.
What About Amazon Orders?
In this case, don't use your Escapees mailing address. You CAN, but if you do you'll have to pay Amazon to ship (to your Escapees address) and then Escapees to forward the packages to wherever you happen to be. Best to use the closest Amazon locker or your campground address IF they allow it.
Getting Amazon orders is a huge pain when on the road if you can't use a locker. One can't predict how they will ship. FedEx? UPS? Amazon van? USPS?
You can TRY to use a General Delivery USPS address. But that Post Office LITERALLY may or may not accept the package simply because they do or don't feel like accepting a delivery from, say, UPS that day. (Dead serious here.)
It's rough out there!
In this scenario, try to use your campground or find a business that accepts parcels for people. Or if you have a friend in the town you're visiting, ask if you can use their address.
Escapees RV Club has a fantastic mail forwarding service. Marshall and myself each used them for over 5 years. I never had a problem with Escapees Mail Service, and they were always very customer service oriented.
They are helpful as can be, and they are an organization that advocates for RVers rights.
We are all about supporting them if just for that reason.
Additionally, if you need a legal domicile address, they can provide.
Escapees has been around since 1978.
And we hope they are around for hundreds more!
Author: Kelly Beasley
He-llllo. I'm the co-founder of Camp Addict, which my biz partner and I launched in 2017. I frigging love the RVing lifestyle but in December of 2020, I converted to part-time RV life. Heck, I lived in my travel trailer for over 5.5 years, STRICTLY boondocking for pretty much all of it. Boondocking is a GREAT way to live, but it's not easy. Anyway, I'm passionate about animals, can't stand campgrounds, I hardly ever cook, and I love a good dance party. Currently, I can be found plotting and scheming whether or not to start collecting farm animals (or plotting my next RV trip!) at my beautiful new 'ranch' named 'Hotel Kellyfornia', in Southern Arizona.