View Full Version : Temporarily forwarding mail to one post office

Wannabe Full-timer
04-29-2007, 12:16 PM
We will be staying in one campground for probably most of the summer (mid May-September), in our home state and not really that far from where our stick house is, but we would prefer not to HAVE to return to our home just to pick up mail and we sure don't want to let it pile up in the mail box as we do receive quite a bit (most junk of course). We don't want to ask someone else to pick it up all the time. We don't want to have it held at our local post office as that is even farther for us to drive from the campground than to our home, so we would be better off just stopping by our house. We will want to stop by our house periodically but we don't want to HAVE to do it a couple times a week just to pick up mail. (I don't want to change all our bills over to electronic bills/payments either.)

Anyway, I did a search on the forum here and read that you can have "temporary change of address mail forwarding from the USPS". Now, will that notify everyone you receive your bills from that you have changed your address and/or will they be contacting you regarding this??? We don't want that to happen since we will just temporarily be staying in our RV and it will just be more convenient for us to get our mail there.

The next question I have is if we did do the "temporary change of address mail forwarding from the USPS", on average how long does it take to receive your mail? We would be in a campground only two counties away from where we live, only about an hour from one post office to another.

Thanks so much.

04-29-2007, 12:44 PM
Get all the information you need at your local post office or go here


Have not tried it yet but looks good to me, enrollment fee is just $10.00, plus $10.40 for each weekly Priority Mail shipment.

04-29-2007, 01:00 PM
USPS will forward your mail to another address that you put on the form you have to fill out at the post office. However, this does not notify those who communicate with you that you are at the new address. As far as how long it will take, that remains up to the postal service. You have to know that the USPS delivers first-class mail in 7-10 days so I would imagine that it could be another 7-10 days before you get forwarded mail.


04-29-2007, 01:02 PM
We did the temp change of address via the USPS this winter. We filled out all the forms exactly as we were told to and it was a total disaster. We wound up having our address permanently changed twice. Credit agencies lowered our credit rating because "we changed addresses to often" We still have not been able to have all our mail changed back to our home address.When I went to the local post office to ask how this happened they said..you did not fill out the forms correctly despite the fact that I did exactly what they told me to do.. We will not let the USPS do anything to our mail ever again...don't know what we will do..but the USPS will not be doing it////

04-29-2007, 01:37 PM
Our Stick house is in VA and that's where we spend most of our time in the summer. Most of our kids live here. When we go to Fl for the winter months, (they accept mail at the park) I go to the post office and make out a simple tempory change of address form. The main postal anex then puts an address lable with our FL address on it and sends it off to FLA. I also give them a stop date and ask them to hold the mail for a few days till we get home.

This past Dec. we changed from VA to FL residents. This will save us a lot of money on personal property taxes and no state income taxes. To do this we had to have a post office box in the town where the camp ground is. Now, any mail I get in FLA is being transfered here to VA the same way. The people sending me the mail in the first place, have no idea their mail is being forwarded to us.

It has worked for two years for us. If we go on a trip during the summer, they are very good about holding our mail till we return. This has never cost us any money.

Mrs. CountryGuy
04-29-2007, 02:31 PM
Heads up, some financial institutions do not allow the mail to be forwarded, but instruct the USPS to return it to them. You might find you have to deal directly with your financial institution and follow their temporary address rules.

04-29-2007, 02:44 PM
I guess we got lucky. All my financial statements were forewarded
to us. We have tried to make it simpler by opening CD's in the area we are in and doing business with SunTrust BAnk which has banks from VA to FLA. When traveling north we use our ATM card to get cash and bit the bullet when it comes to paying $2 at the ATM we are not associated with. I also get my statements online when I can and avoid the statement in the mail. If my computer decides to fail, I always have the local library.

During Tax time we will be in FLA and they have the FLA Post Office Box address. This helps. This past tax time we filed on line and had the rebate check deposited to our checking account. It worked this time. I know for some it was a nightmare. Hackers took their money.

04-29-2007, 04:52 PM
We used the usps temporary forwarding system last year. worked great. Go to your local PO or do it online. I was told by my local USPS office that if you go in person it is free, the online route is for fee.

Wannabe Full-timer
04-30-2007, 02:08 AM
After reading everything I could on this forum and particularly since we are going to be within an hour of our home from the campground and will need to come home periodically to mow lawn, check on the house, (and I could even do laundry some of the times when I come home instead of going to the laundry mat), etc., we think we may just pick up our mail at our home and leave things just the way they are. :D Kind of worried about the mess ups that could potentially happen.

Do you think it will be a problem having 5-6 days of mail sitting in our mailbox??? We do not want to hold it at the post office as that would even make it more inconvenient for us as it is even further away from where we live and travel. We could get someone to perhaps pick it up maybe in the middle of the week if need be so there would only be a couple day's worth of mail laying in the box instead of 5 or 6 but we really don't wan to do that but could.

Thanks for all your great info!

04-30-2007, 03:35 AM
Accumulated mail can be an invitation to unwanted visitors.


04-30-2007, 03:39 AM
Our friends have their kids forward their mail. You can have it sent general delivery to the post office you are near. Since we are full-time we use a mail service, they sort out the junk mail. I don't know if they have a 6 month agreement, but if you are interested send a PM and I will give you their address, website and phone. Of course, we do pay for the service. Judy

Wannabe Full-timer
04-30-2007, 03:48 AM
We don't get an daily newspapers, just free newspapers on the weekend. Otherwise, I think it would be technically illegal if people were opening and looking in our mailbox (not saying they couldn't or wouldn't, but.... :D) As I mentioned, there probably wouldn't be more than a couple days of mail accumulated if we had my Dad pick it up (and knowing him he would do it without us even asking anyway) :) I think it would bee difficult for anyone to know if someone had a couple days worth of mail accumulated in their mailbox or just one day with the amount of mail that some people get anymore. :)

Rather than forwarding, it will just be easier for us, in our particular case, to just come home periodically and check on things and pick up our mail we think. We will try it out first and see how it goes. Will need to come home and pick up wood for the campfire, mow line and I can do laundry and water a couple huge plants I can't take with me! :)

04-30-2007, 07:29 AM
We also have a mailing service that we use as required but it costs. I thought that the Post Office could stop delivering and you would pick it up there when needed?

Wannabe Full-timer
04-30-2007, 01:07 PM
It is just too inconvenient for us to pick up our mail at our own local post office with our working as we work in one town and the post office is in another town and we will be staying yet in another town. We rarely even go to the town where our post office is and it is out of our way to do so. Also, we would only be able to then pick up our mail on Saturday, up until noon when they are open, so that would make it where we would HAVE to go on Saturdays and we like to have more flexibility. :)

We have decided against the temporary mail forwarding thing as it sounds like some people have had horrible experiences (while others have not) and it is not worth it to us to take the chance of a bad experience (would just be OUR luck - lol) when we will be close enough to drive home to check on things and get mail anyway.

04-30-2007, 02:00 PM
We did have a horrible experience but let me expand on that a bit. the online forms and the forms that you fill out at the post office have NO provision for Rv' ers wintering and perhaps staying at two or three C.G's over a period of 3 or 4 months. We are told there IS a way to have your mail forwarded when wintering but thus far no one at our local office or any other post offive knows how that is done...

Wannabe Full-timer
04-30-2007, 02:11 PM
Yeah, and that is the scary part (they should know). :) That is really too bad and what a mess it has caused you and Helen. I figure it is not worth the trouble for us. It would be different if we were going to be further away. We would just use some other service but we don't feel it is necessary in our type of case. I will just come home periodically and do laundry, pick up mail, pay bills, and do things around the house or else husband will when he needs to mow lawn and/or pick up more campfire wood. We can take turns if need be. :D

05-09-2007, 09:49 AM
We are getting ready for our four month summer trip. We had friend forward mail from Dec thru Apr. which worked out with the exception of certified mail. My father passed away end of Novembeer, and I had a few pieces of registered and certified mail that was flowing back and forth, and the UPSP wouldn't turn it over to my neighbor for forwarding until I could assign her as my agent, which I was glad the UPSP doesn't hand out our mail to just anybody. Last summer I had my mail forwarded by UPSP, but we moved around a lot so it got complicated. Since I am a member of Escapees, I am going to try their mail forwarding this summer. So far it works great.

Wannabe Full-timer
05-09-2007, 10:06 AM
I just contacted our local post office and I really probably shouldn't say too much but I believe we may have worked something out that will work for us. :)

Lije Baley
05-09-2007, 01:55 PM
Mum's the word, eh?

Although it may not affect you, the accumulated mail, even if it is not enough to invite burglars, can be a treasure trove if the right mail falls into the hands of identity thieves. I'm glad to know it probably won't be a problem.

10-30-2007, 12:22 PM
Hi! We have used the pilot USPS Premium Forwarding Service on two approximately 8 week trips (from Maryland to Seattle area and from Maryland to Florida). It worked great! :D We plan to use it again on our trip to Florida in Jan-Feb.

We live in a small town but they were able to set it up with no problems. They sent all of the mail each week (each Wednesday?)via priority mail and we received it in 2-3 days. On the Seattle trip, we used several post offices: picked up our mail in Ohio, Minnesota, several places in Washington state, etc. We did find that forwarding mail for pick up via general delivery at the smaller post offices in the Northwest could run a day or two over the expected 2 days so do recommend some flexibility in that regard. When that occurred, they delivered the mail to a post office further along our route at no extra charge.

As mentioned, cost is not cheap but is reasonable (enrollment $10, weekly $10.40). The USPS folks were quite helpful and using this approach avoids the problem that your temporary change in address will be interpreted as a permanent move re credit cards, etc.

Tim Stuart

10-31-2007, 03:43 PM
Just a suggestion.

Most UPS neighborhood stores have mailboxes. You can have your stick house forwarded to the UPS store. When you want your mail, you can specify the location you want it sent to ie. general delivery, a friend or relatives house or another neighborhood UPS store.

We notify them via email or telephone for the forwarding service. The cost is ~$140 per year.

We have used this sytem for a year and it has worked very well for us.

10-31-2007, 05:39 PM
Tim beat me to my comment! I'm a retired letter carrier and I used to have numerous "snowbirds" on my route! I worked with each customer as they would approach me on their forwarding. Several would use the premier program from the PO and I would forward any first and second class to them as Tim said every Wednesday via Priority Mail. If you talk to your carrier, normally he/she will forward any certified or registered letters if you request them but he/she cannot sign for them and put them in your packet on the Wednesday mailings. I was instructed by most of them to "kill" (toss) any bulkrate mail-- but that had to be done in the form of a letter from them so I didn't get my rear in a jam with the PO. If they didn't want it tossed I held it and they had 30 days to pick it up-- not the best thing to do! If they would move to another CG they would just contact me and I would change the forwarding address. I had several that I did on my own also and would pay for the postage to foward the items and they would reimburse me on a monthly basis. If you know or get to know your letter carrier and talk with him/her about your move MOST will work with you on your temp forwarding. Just remember to let the carrier know about three weeks before you return to your stick and he can stop forwarding the mail and start holding the mail for you to pick up upon your return and IF you are nice to him/her they might even bring the held mail out to you if you call them or stop them on the route upon your return. Don't forget him/her for the Holidays either. It's nice to know they are there to help you out if you run into a problem!

Rich-- GRRRRRR UPS ! :o) LOL I knew of a few people that did use the UPS box deal and it ended up messing their mail delivery up pretty bad! Not saying it happens with everyone but these people came back to me for help and I couldn't help them because of the different companies---USPS vs. UPS. The people did contact me the next year and the USPS took care of them with no problems.

If anyone has any problems, let me know and maybe I can give some advise on how to straighten things out. Devildog could probrably help also!


10-31-2007, 05:40 PM
OOPS! Sorry Rich, I thought you made the comment about UPS instead it was Robbie!

11-01-2007, 12:14 AM
As I mentioned you need to be very careful. Go to the P.O and do the temporary change...Do NOT do it on line..make sure the postal person at the P.O understands what you want to do..A temporary change of address" a be sure to state that clearly. my problem came about because of a poorly worded ONLINE form then a lack of communications and understanding at the Local P.O. and this from me a 40 year federal employee..you would think I could sort out weasel worded Government forms. The P.O is the worst I have ever seen.I will do a temp change of address for 90 days to a single Florida address then follow up with a 30 day hold on the mail while we are traveling home. Study and understand the forms well BEFORE you fill them out or submit them.Your everyday carrier CAN be a great help..IF they are there every day.. Part of our problem occurred because of a substitute carrier that did not know what was going on and ASSUMED we were a Permanent change of address??? We are still recovering from that..

11-01-2007, 03:34 AM

We have not had any problems from UPS, not one. We had nothing BUT problems from USPS. Weeks after having our mail forwarded, USPS would fill our old mailbox up with junk mail. Our tenants were nice enough to forward that junk to us so we could cancel the mail from being sent.

You are a saint that should be recognized, not all mailmen are so deserving.

11-01-2007, 03:55 AM
Thank you for the compliment! I understand the problems of the many that have had problems with the PO. As Rich said the forms the PO use are made up by people that have never carried or worked with the mail and/or with the customers. It's to bad the PO and other government agencies don't let the people that actually have contact with the customers set up things. It would be a much smoother operation! I agree that if you don't have a carrier that cares for their patrons or have a "sub" that doesn't care or know what's going on, you will run into problems but in most cases if you talk to your regular carrier and ask for help most will be more than happy to help you in any way they can. I meant no disrespect to the UPS on my comment because I have several friends that work for UPS but the patrons I had on my route that used them for the forwarding had nothing but problems. Best of luck on your trip down South and enjoy the warm weather while the rest of us are up North freezing our rearends off! [xx(]

11-02-2007, 04:48 AM
This thread has some valid address change information and while all well-intentioned, the customer, not just the mail carrier can do their part as well.

For instance: Temporary address changes only will forward the 2nd Class mail for 60 days. 2nd Class mail is mostly magazines and newspapers. If a customer is going to knowingly be gone longer than 60 days, it is advisable to notify all 2nd Class subscribed publishers (online if possible) of the address change at least 30 days prior to the 60 day expiration date. Most monthly magazine publisher mail their issues the month prior and need 4-6 week notices.

Remember too, all change of addresses are entered initially by a carrier, city or rural at their desks, then sent to a Forwarding center usually removed from their office, where the mail is electronically keyed from computers and forwarded from there. In Richfaa's case, my guess is his mail goes from the carrier in No. Ridgeville to Cleveland to be forwarded.

This is long, but gives many a better insight on the Postal forwarding system. Yes, errors are made and this explanation makes no excuses for them.


11-02-2007, 05:13 AM
Dennis...You are correct. I fill my change of address out at the local P.O in N.Ridgeville. The actual forwarding takes place at the Cleveland office. According to The N. Ridgeville P.O they never get the mail it is as you say forwarded from Cleveland. You are also correct about 2nd class mail. Since we became longtimers we have done away with 99% of our subscriptions and the ones that we have give you the choice of Magazine or no magazine such as the NRA so I stop the magazine with the Dec issue and start it Back up when we return.. This can be done on line. Actually the only important mail we need while wintering are the W-2 forms and the 1099's. We do ALL of our bill paying online and ALL of our keeping in touch with family online. So that mail does not pile up in our home mail box and we do not have to bother anyone to pick it up everyday we start a HOLD MAIL starting when we leave our winter site.. You can do this for 30days as it usually can take us that long to get back home. As Dennis says with a little pre planning and of course self education on how the P.O system works you can keep it simple.. I will say that MOST of the problems we had were my own fault.. I should have known better ..but I learned from the mistakes both mine and the P.O's and it will not happen again. The P.O system of mail forwarding DOES work once you understand HOW it works..Do NO Tt automatically assume that the P.O employee does know..do your homework...

11-08-2007, 03:05 PM
Depends where you are at I did a temporary change of address until the house sells , I am in key west it takes 20 days to get mail here it goes to PA and stays there 1 week and the post office sends it to escapees mail forwarding service then it takes 7 to 10 days to get here , I had credit cards sent directly to escapees and other monthly bills that the people would agree to but some you have to be careful about like car insurance and home owners insurance coverage if you are out of state for a long time . Escapees offer a specal fed-ex 2 day and 3 day delivery time but - it is expensive .

11-09-2007, 03:34 AM

Paying online for insurance and such takes the worry out of the situation for us.

11-09-2007, 04:42 AM
That is why we will not use Escapees as a TEMPORARY mail forwarding service. The USPS system Will work for you IF you understand how it works. Our mail would normally enter the system at the Cleveland office then be transported to the N. ridgeville office then to our home. With a properly done Temporary change of address it still enters the system at the Cleveland office. The yellow forwarding sticker goes on and it is sent to our temporary address..3 days in most cases. Online bill paying takes the worry out of bill paying..and 128 bit encryption is a tough nut to crack. Check it out///

11-09-2007, 06:26 AM
As a Postal Service retiree, I can honestly say that I do most mail activities online as richfaa and others do. I know that where possible I notify all banks, magazine publishers, utilities, etc of my Temporary address. While using the Net, much of our mail comes direct (without those yellow stickers) to our summer home from the Orlando Forwarding Unit for our town of Clermont FL. When I return to Fla (before Thanksgiving) I notify the magazines and others of our return. I ask the Clermont Post Office by official card to HOLD all of our mail about a week or so prior to actually returning. Once home in Clermont, I then give the rural carrier another official card requesting Resume Delivery and Cancel Temporary Forwarding Order. I place that verbage in the area on the Address Card where it asks for the new or Forwarding address and sign and date it. The carrier gets that card, enters it at their desk and sends it to the Central Forwarding unit in Orlando. At Orlando, they key my name, and remove that Temp forwarding order from their computer file. This ensures any relief carrier, in error, for any reason sending my mail to the Central Forwarding unit. If there is no entry at the CFU, that "good" mail comes back to the carrier to deliver and not return it.

I wish I could help on all of the Forwarding Services available, UPS, USPS, etc. Because I'm a new 5th wheeler, my experience with these entities is non-existent so far.

11-09-2007, 01:15 PM
We do use Escapees mail service and it works GREAT.

11-09-2007, 01:36 PM
SKP's mail service has been great

11-09-2007, 01:48 PM
mail2us..There are a couple things in your post I did not know.. Thanks.. We in general do exactly what you do and it works fine. It is a matter of learning how the system works. Those other mail forwarding service also work fine and if you are a full timer that is the best way to go..But..The USPS system for a TEMPORY change of address works fine also and it is free and from what I have seen..much faster..Now..If you do not do it right it can be a nightmare...as we found out...the hard way. But it was mostly my fault.

11-09-2007, 03:17 PM
The USPS mail forwarding system is tricky, and I must admit, the customer can often be the receiver of fouled up service. When it works right, it's cheap and helpful. When it doesn't it can be a nightmare.

These other services that many endorse are alternatives that most likely work well also. I have learned as an individual to do what I can to lessen any bad outcome or unexpected poor service.

I know from living in Florida, the state is like a funnel with many coming to it for the winter months. We receive mail volumes that rise sharply...no problem, however, when many return to their homes in the north in the spring, mail forwarding can be a large task. I suspect that other states like Arizona have a similar situation.It's always easier processing and delivering mail than it is to interrupt the flow with changes. No excuses here, we do well and when we don't it can be really um...not so well. Most customers don't make the mistake, it's that they simply don't have enought info.

11-11-2007, 02:46 AM
We are on the way home from our first big trip (7 months) and the mail has been an issue. Six months before we left I canceled all magazines, contacted a service (can't remember the name off hand) that prevents all junk mail. That worked. We pay all bills on line. We physically went to our local post office to see how the mail forwarding system works and were told that we could forward our mail for 364 days out of a year without being a change of address. So we forwarded our mail to my cousin. Well, that worked fine until someone at the main post office in Richmond decided that this must be a mistake and the mail returned to our stick house. After many phone calls to both our local post office and to the forwarding post office both said the problem was at the main post office. We lost medications and some financial statements were returned even though we had not had any prior problems. We are pretty sure that we will not use them next year but need more research. We are considering using a post office box and having my cousin pick up and send.

Dorothy Weber

11-11-2007, 04:51 AM

Check with your local UPS store that has mailboxes, or one of those places that rents mailboxes. We have used UPS for over a year now, and it has worked flawlessly. We ended up changing our address to the mailbox at UPS. So far, so good except for the problem mentioned above by us from the Department of Licensing...I don't believe that is something that will occur again.