One of the first things we are often asked is how do you get your mail as full-time RVers. Since leaving Evansville, Indiana on October 16th, 2017, we have been using Misty’s parents house as our address and mail forwarding address. Once we had a few important pieces of mail they would just mail a bundle to us. We would need to be in a location, usually an RV park, that allowed us to receive mail though. We would also need to be staying long enough for it to arrive on time. So there was some planning involved but for the most part it worked. We usually only needed mail about every three to four months.
Of course we didn’t like the fact that her parents were now receiving all of our junk mail (which to be honest was probably the bulk of our mail) and having to take the time and money to mail us things. So we looked into other options. Luckily there are several.
Mail Forwarding Services
During our research we found and liked these mail forwarding services. There are more but these are the ones we narrowed it down to.
- America’s Mailbox – based out of Box Elder, SD
- Good Sam – based out of Crestview, FL
- Escapees – based out of Livingston, TX (but can also get an address in Bushnell, FL or Box Elder, SD)
- MyRVMail – based out of Crestview, FL (we believe this is the company that Good Sam goes through as the websites are identical except for branding)
- St Brendan’s Isle – based out of Green Cove Springs, FL
Each works primarily the same with different levels of services but most would scan mail if requested (for important mail) and would send mail to your location as requested. Most would also throw out junk mail. Honestly, the service each provided had no impact on why we choose the service we did. Ultimately it just came down to which state had the best health insurance options, cheapest plates and vehicle registration.
Choosing a Domicile State
As my last sentence above indicates, picking a mail forwarding service was a simple choice but only after doing extensive research on the cost differences of health insurance and vehicle plates and registration. So the biggest and most important issue with picking a new domicile state is which works best for you and which is cheapest. For us, we had these questions that were of importance:
Based on our travels, will it be easy to return and renew things when required?
What healthcare options are available through the exchange and how much does it cost?
How much to plate and register our truck and RV?
How much does vehicle insurance cost and does it have the proper coverage we need?
We had to answer each of those questions in order for us to pick a new domicile state. Obviously each persons answers will be different. Ultimately it came down to Texas and Florida for us. We ruled out South Dakota fairly early mainly due to its location and the fact we likely would have a harder time visiting (based on our preferred travel routes). It also didn’t have great health exchange plans. Florida ended up being our personal choice as a domicile state and we used Good Sam as our mail service. Texas was a close second but the yearly vehicle inspections and insurance options killed it for us. The inspection issue was minor but still a consideration.
Why Florida? First, we love Florida! We have already spent two winters here and just love the weather. So we knew returning to renew things would not be an issue. Plates here expire at the end of the year or late in the year so we figured we would already be here anyway (at least every other year). They also offer online renewal options. So first question answered.
The second question was actually one of our more important deciding factors. After my heart attack in June of 2018, we knew that having a plan with nationwide coverage was important (our Indiana plan did not). So most of our time researching was done here. Luckily, Florida had a lot more choices and with cheaper monthly payments. Blue Cross Blue Shield is a big player here and they have in-network doctors and hospitals in all 50 states. A huge plus for us as full-time travelers! The rates were much cheaper as well. We ended up saving over $250 dollars a month!
Our third consideration turned out to be cheaper as well. Registering your vehicles and RV here is much cheaper than it was for us in Indiana. Florida has flat rates and Indiana went by the value of the vehicle. There were first time fees but the second year was much, much cheaper.
Our only downside to “moving” to Florida was vehicle insurance. It turned out to be more expensive. We were told it is due to the hurricanes but who knows. We also had to leave our longtime insurance company of Geico because their rates for Florida were not good. We also didn’t have replacement value if our RV was totaled. We ended up with Progressive and a better overall policy but it still cost us more than we were paying for Indiana. We are still saving a ton of money overall because of all the savings from everything else.
So in the end Florida worked best for us personally. Crestview is near our path of travel as we come and go for the winter which made that particular location (and mail service) a good pick for us. It was also one of the cheapest locations.
If you have any questions, ask below and we’ll try to answer them!