Saturday, October 15, 2011

Chapter 3 of Our Book: How Do You Get Your Mail?

Hey, howdy to some new Followers of Our Life on Wheels! Welcome to Ron Buchner; welcome to Marsha and Paul Weaver of Where's Weaver?; welcome to T (Just call me T); welcome to Sheryl of Ain't For City Gals; welcome to Peter Pazucha; and welcome to Pam of Whims n Whispers. We hope you'll continue to find something of value in our blog!

For our longer-term readers, you have already been treated to Chapters 1, 2, and 8 our yet un-published book, Are You Out of Your Minds. Now here is Chapter 3, "How Do You Get Your Mail?"

One of the questions often asked of RVers is “How do you get your mail?”

Of course, each of us is different. We have met several travelers who have a daughter, a daughter-in-law, or a niece visit their home daily to pick up their mail, sort out the junk, and send the important stuff on to the travelers at some particular stop on their journey. Fulltimers sometimes actually have changed their address to that of their daughter, daughter-in-law, or niece, so the mail goes right to the long-suffering relative.

Notice that it’s always the female relative who gets this duty, never a male. Why do you suppose that is?

We wouldn’t do it this way, because that relative might want a day off, or a week for vacation, or worse, get sick. Then where is your mail, and when will you get it?

We changed our address to a professional mail forwarding service: magazines, bills, the occasional ad or political flyer, and the even more occasional personal mail like Christmas cards now go to a business in Jefferson, Oregon.

The mail service tosses out the ads and anything we have told them we don’t want to receive. They will forward the good stuff to wherever we tell them. Some services mail on a specific day each week, some on whatever day you request.

“But where do you get your mail?”

A few RV parks will accept mail for their residents; membership parks often will do this, but many don’t. So then what? We have learned that the United States Postal Service has two Generals, the Postmaster General, of which there is only one, and General Delivery, that exists at nearly every post office in the country. All you need to tell your mail service is General Delivery and the name of the town and its Zip Code. Presto, your mail shows up and waits up to 60 days for you.

We have used General Delivery all over the country. You just have to show proof of identity (your Driver License is all you need), and they’ll hand the mail over to you.

In May of 2006, we knew we’d be traveling into Nebraska along I-80, so we had our mail sent to General Delivery, Brule, NE, 69127. Unless you have a large-scale Nebraska state map, you’ll never find Brule. If you blink while nearing Exit 117 on I-80, you’ll miss the turnoff that leads across the South Platte River to the tiny town of 650 souls.

We were a few days late getting to Brule. When I went into the post office, I said to the only person visible, “I’ll bet you’ve got some mail for me, last name LeRoy.” Her reply was, “I wondered when you’d show up!”

If you are going to use General Delivery as you travel, the big thing to remember is to have your mail sent to the smallest town in the vicinity. If you sent it to a larger city, like Phoenix, for example, how would you ever know which post office in that megalopolis to go to?

We thought we were doing just that in 2008. We were going to be in Devils Den State Park south of Fayetteville, so asked to have our mail delivered to the little dinky post office at West Fork, AR, using West Fork’s Zip Code. On the appointed day, we drove the thirty miles to West Fork, but the mail wasn’t there. That’s happened before, so we waited a couple of days before making the return trip, only to find that the mail still hadn’t arrived. The postal person asked us what Zip Code we had used. When we told him, he replied, “Well, that’s the Fayetteville office.”

Now, Fayetteville is another 20 miles at least from West Fork. We asked where the Post Office was located, and neither person at West Fork could tell us. The best they could do was to say it was downtown, right near the Walgreen’s drugstore. They didn't even know what street it was on.

We drove to Fayetteville, found the Walgreen’s drug store, found the Post Office where we were told our mail had never arrived! Not wishing to continuously make a 100-mile round trip every day, we asked for and received the phone number of the Post Office so we could call in advance.

Back to Devils Den State Park. Devils Den is remote, cut off from telephone service, radio, TV or Internet access. To make a phone call, we had to drive seven miles. For three days, the Fayetteville folks told us there was no mail for us. Finally, after extending our stay at Devils Den twice, we had to leave, and drove the motorhome to the Fayetteville Post Office. Guess what? They found our mail stashed on some odd shelf over there instead of over here. It had been there the entire time, according to their records!

It’s all part of the adventure!

For more pictures of Devils Den, visit our web album, 2008 Devils Den State Park.

And that, dear friends, is another Chapter in ... Our Life on Wheels!


  1. Your tale of hunting for your mail sure makes us glad that we actually get our mail by e-mail:)

  2. One thing we've learned is if they say they have no mail for you ask them to check for packages, too. Also we always call ahead to those small post offices. Some full timers went to pick up their mail at a small AR PO and were told they sent it back because they didn't recognize their name!

  3. Enjoyed the pics of Devil's Den State Park. We haven't had a prob getting our mail -- yet anyway, but we have friends who have. Have only had it sent one time to a PO.

  4. The chapters just keep getting better. We have Escapees for our mail service. They do a great job. So far we have been very lucky and only had to use the Post Office once. Enjoy the ride.

  5. Even though most of our mail comes via email and what's left is delivered to our home, reading your mail experiences was very interesting.

    Devil's Den State Park looks like a great place to visit - nice pics!

  6. Our daughter collects our mail and sends it to us in a box every so often. This year we are going to have her send it at least once a month. It is hard for her to tell what is important and what isn't.

    We do almost all of our bill paying online or via credit card so that isn't a real problem. The few bills that do get to our address get paid by our daughter by a joint checking account.

    Overall it works well except when she is having medical problems and things get backed up.

    We stay at one park in the winter for 4-5 months and she sends the mail there. Xmas cards go out early with our site # at the park and the address there. Even then we get about half of our xmas cards at the house address.

  7. Nice read about mail-on-wheels. I promise never to complain about our mail delivery again.

    Thanks for the kindhearted welcome, and link to my blog.
    Pam i am :D

  8. Neither wind, rain, snow or hail shall keep the LeRoy's from their mail. But a lost letter here or there can give the folks quite a scare. Regardless of town or back room shelf, Jerry's gonna get in there and get it himself. Whether Fayettevill, Devils Den or Brule, Suzy's the one who's gonna stay cool.....10-4:))

  9. "Presto, your mail shows up and waits up to 60 days for you."

    That is not what the Postal Regulations say.
    Each general delivery mail piece is held for no more than 30 days, although a shorter time period may be requested by the sender.

    You MIGHT get that 30 days extended IF the forwarded mail is marked with and ETA (Estimated Time of Arrival).


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