Do you want to start RVing, but concerned about “How to Get Mail” or “How to Get WiFi” on the road? You’re not alone.
It takes planning to ensure your mail gets delivered properly and that you get WiFi to meet your needs.
After years of being on the road, we have learned a few things and hope this helps you out as you research your options.
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How to Get Mail On The Road
Many full-time RVers are not stationary but move at least quarterly.
So, how do you get your mail?
Do you change your address every time you move?
There are few ways to handle this.
Family & Friends
You can have family or friends receive and hold your mail and packages for you or have them ship the most important items to you.
This is, of course, the cheapest option, although it might be a burden on others.
You will also need to keep your family and friends up to date on your location if they will be forwarding mail and packages to you.
Have your packages shipped to you on the road
If you use Amazon or another online retailer, you can have your packages shipped to you on the road.
Staying at an RV park? You can have your packages shipped to you there. Just asked the park manager if there are special instructions.
Just passing through? Find the nearest post office along our route and have our packages/mail sent there.
Back to Amazon for a minute – You can have your packages sent to an Amazon Locker!! Find a locker, select it, and have our packages shipped!
You can always have your mail handled by a mail service.
Your mail will go to the mail service and then held, scanned, or forwarded.
This is a paid service…holding your mail is the cheapest option and then goes up from there.
There are many mail services out there such as Escapees, My RV Mail, and Earth Class Mail, to name a few.
All the services are different, so you’ll need to research each one and find the one that works best for you.
How to Get WiFi On The Road
This one can actually be a bit more challenging than handling your mail. Most people are used to their internet at home that is basically unlimited, speed might be limited, but you don’t purchase it by the gig.
If you are stationary, you can have the local internet provider connect your RV just like your home.
On the road you have a few other options – satellite, phone data plan, mobile hotspot, RV park WiFi, and free WiFi.
There are quite a few cons to having internet via a satellite – it’s costly, you have to have a clear view of the sky, and it is slow.
It is something you can take on the road though, so it is worth mentioning.
Phone Data Plan
This is a viable option IF you don’t use a lot of gigs/month.
There are some plans that will even let you binge-watch YouTube and Netflix (can’t tether this to another device though…so smartphones only at this time).
If you are a heavy user or want to watch on your smart TV or tablet, this may not be the best option.
More gigs = more money.
This is where it gets interesting. You can use your hotspots anywhere (well…maybe not if you are hiking on a mountaintop or in the desert) and on any device.
It can get very, very expensive unless you can find a 3rd party that sells grandfathered unlimited (well, almost all are now limited, but with many gigs…100+) hotspots.
These are still available, but you gotta ask around.
We were able to score a $20 per month unlimited mobile hotspot! It can be throttled beyond 22 gibs, but it doesn’t always happen.
It is made to be plugged into your vehicle.
This can be pretty simple if you have a motorhome. For the rest of us, we had to buy an adaptor that would allow it to be used with a regular outlet.
It must always be connected to direct power.
The main issue here is that it doesn’t seem to be available anymore. You can still ask around. Start with AT&T and then search various Facebook groups to see if anyone has a grandfathered plan or something similar. In addition, Mobile Internet Resource Center has a lot of information about mobile internet.
How to get a Good Signal with Your Mobile Hotspot
Even though you have a mobile hotspot, you might not be able to use it.
All carriers are different and they don’t always work when you need them to.
We have found ourselves at a fantastic campground with gorgeous views and terrible cell reception. This is a big problem since I work from home and we have kids that need to be connected to our hotspots for their education.
Our solution was to get a WeBoost. The initial investment can be high (ours was free in exchange for a review), but it will boost whatever signal you have. The thing to remember is that if you have zero reception, the WeBoost won’t do anything for you. It boosts the signal so if you have nothing, it has nothing to boost.
RV Park WiFi
Many RV parks now offer free Wifi. Great right?
It would be if it actually worked. RV park WiFi is notoriously unreliable.
We have been to only two parks that had fairly reliable WiFi, but I would have to sit outside the RV or directly under their boosters to get anything at all.
If you are really in a bind, I recommend paying for the reliable and steady park WiFi.
I have done it in the past and had no issues with it at all.
It is limited to a small number of devices and varies from park to park.
Lastly, there is always free WiFi at different shops.
Lots of coffee shops and fast-food restaurants, whether locally owned or chains have free WiFi.
It is reliable and supports the local economy without breaking the bank.
This is a cheap option and can be quite pleasant. It just might not be as convenient (or fast!).
So, what do you think? Do you think you are prepared to handle mail and WiFi while RVing full-time? Let us know if you have any other advice.
Need more help as you start RVing? Check out our Resources page!