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Mail Forwarding for full-timers

Posted by Bonnie on March 02, 1999 at 11:09:16:
         We will be ready to fulltime at the end of April and are looking into mail
         forwarding services now. I have heard good things about Escapees and having
         residency in Texas, but we would like to look into all options. In the
         campground we are staying in now, our neighbors told us about South Dakota
         as another possible alternative. No state income tax, sales tax is 3%, lower
         fulltimers insurance rates, etc. There is a mail forwarding service out of Sioux
         Falls SD called Alternative Resources. Anyone heard of it?? Or, does anyone
         out there have any other suggestions for mail forwarding services that they
         know about? Thanks. for the help. 
 

Posted by Stephanie Bernhagen on March 16, 1999 at 08:04:32:
        In Reply to: Mail forwarding services posted by Bonnie on March 02, 1999
         I have had several requests for information on our experience of being burned
         by MBE in Sioux Falls, SD. Since what we learned may help many of you I will
         share the experience here. First, each MBE has their own charges. Second, our
         experience was over 3 years ago and things may have changed with that
         particular MBE. When we signed up for the mailing service we agreed to a box
         charge. We understood there would be a $1 handling charge for each package
         sent to us. We were receiving mail once a month. All of a sudden it seemed we
         were being asked to send more money each time we received our mail. This
         should not have been. They did not provide a statement of charges, so we
         investigated. What we found was that the handling charge had been increased
         to $1.50 without notice. We could handle that. What really shocked us was
         that there was a metered mail charge, which we had never been made aware
         of. We were not being charged actual postage, but something like actual
         postage plus 50%! We asked for a statement of how this charge was
         determined, but they could not, or would not provide it. We dropped MBE
         and went with the Escapee Mail service then, and have been extremely happy
         since. The lesson: regardless of who you decide to get mail service from, know
         all the charges and get all them in writing. 
 

Posted by Donna Yeaw on March 10, 1999 at 11:28:03:
        In Reply to: Mail forwarding services posted by Bonnie on March 02, 1999
         I have a two part article on the ins & outs of choosing a home base state that
         you might want to read. In part two I cover 4 favored states (TX, FL, TN, SD)
         and list some good online resources to help you make your choice. I recently
         added writeups on NV, WA, OR & AK - the link is on my home page as well.
         RVLifestyle@email.com
         http://www.suite101.com/welcome.cfm/rv_lifestyle
 

Posted by Barbara Hofmeister on March 02, 1999 at 19:09:40:
        In Reply to: Mail forwarding services posted by Bonnie on March 02, 1999
          Yes, we have heard good things about this service and residency in South
          Dakota as well. Aparently the state is actively seeking full-timers so they will
          probably treat you well. Barb 
 

Posted by Agnes on March 04, 1999 at 15:56:22:
        In Reply to: Re: Mail forwarding services posted by Barbara Hofmeister on March 02, 1999
         We had heard the same thing about South Dakota and had pretty much
         expected that we would make it our home state. Just to be sure though, I have
         been seeking quotes for full-timers insurance from South Dakota, Florida and
         Texas. Fully expecting SD rates to be lower, I am surprised to find, so far, that
         FL has the lowest! (I thought it would be the highest because of the number of
         older drivers in the state.) I also talked to equivalent BC/BS providers in each
         of those states seeking health insurance quotes and was again surprised to find
         FL's rates the lowest! I am almost disappointed because I'd heard so much
         about the lower rates in SD. Of course, it depends on your vehicle and the
         coverages you want but I asked for the same thing from each state so that I
         could do a fair comparison. Hope this helps you some. 
 

Posted by Ed Richmond on March 06, 1999 at 08:13:43:
        In Reply to: Re: Mail forwarding services posted by Agnes on March 04, 1999
         A person does not need to get Blue Cross/Blue Shield in the state of domicile. I
         plan to register everything in Texas when I retire this summer, but my
         Pennslvania Blue Cross/Blue Shild will cover me all over the  US.
         
Posted by Stephanie Bernhagen on March 06, 1999 at 21:05:04:
        In Reply to: Re: Mail forwarding services posted by Ed Richmond on March 06, 1999
         We have been residents of South Dakota for a little over 5 years now. After
         being burned by Mail Boxes Etc.in Sioux Falls we changed to Escapees mail
         service. South Dakota now lists our address on our vehicle and trailer licenses
         and titles as Livingston. For South Dakota Voter's registration we use a
         campground address, which is what that office suggested. Our driver's license
         still lists the South Dakota campground office, but we have talked to other
         South Dakota full-timers who have their Livingston address on the driver's
         license as well. We also periodically put a change of address in from our SD
         campground address to Livingston or wherever we are at. As for Florida, don't
         forget to factor in the intangible taxes if you have investments. 
 

Posted by Agnes on March 09, 1999 at 11:15:17:
        In Reply to: Re: Mail forwarding services posted by Stephanie Bernhagen on March 06, 1999
         Do you mean that Florida taxes dividends/interest? Do you also mean that you
         can have a street address in TX and still register vehicles in SD? 
 

Posted by Steve Turney on March 09, 1999 at 21:47:05:
        In Reply to: Re: Mail forwarding services posted by Agnes on March 09, 1999
         Each year (in Fl), you will list all the stocks, bonds, mutual funds, etc., that you
         own, and their value on Dec 31st. Then, after an allowance, you will pay an
         intangibles tax on their value. Buy a motorhome in Florida, and you will pay a
         6% sales tax. Registration is relatively low. SD charges a 3% exise tax on
         motorhomes registered in their state, with credit for taxes you paid on the
         vehicle in the previous state. I also am considering Alternative Resources. They
         are sending me a pamphlet which outlines their services. Call 1-800-477-2664
         and ask for Paul. I'd still like to hear more from people who use their service.
         This is my first visit to this BB. Very interesting. Steve 
 

Posted by Helen on March 21, 1999 at 10:58:32:
        In Reply to: Re: Mail forwarding services posted by Steve Turney on March 09, 1999
         Steve you mentioned that if you purchase a vehicle in FL you pay a 6% Sales
         Tax. What if you purchase the vehicles out of the state of FL, have never
         registered them and take them to FL to register? Do they charge the 6% plus
         the $100 new application fee? Sounds like SD is the best place to register if
         they are showing favor to RVers - not like OR. 
 

Posted by virginia hyde on March 12, 1999 at 16:58:15:
        In Reply to: Re: Mail forwarding services posted by Steve Turney on March 09, 1999
         Hi, We are considering using S.D. as our home base. Our question is this: Is
         the 3 % exise tax charged on EVERY vechile transferred into S.D., or only the
         new ones? If it IS ONLY the NEW ones, what is the definition of NEW vs
         USED vechile? In other words, purchased in the last 6 months, 12 months,
         previously registered in another state, etc? Thanks very much for any data you
         might have on this. Virginia Hyde virginia.
 

Posted by Steve Turney on March 13, 1999 at 00:29:32:
        In Reply to: Re: Mail forwarding services posted by virginia hyde on March 12, 1999
         Virginia - The follow I'm buying my one year old rig from registered it after
         purchase (he bought it in Indiana and drove on dealer's tags to SD). He paid
         the $3000 excise tax. I called the registration office today at Sioux Falls
         (605-367-4212), told the lady I'm buying a used motorhome from an individual
         who has it registered in SD with SD plates, and she said I'd keep the same
         plates and to send her a check for 3% of the purchase price (plus the title and a
         bill of sale.) If you register a vehicle in SD which was purchased in another
         state, they will give you credit for taxes you paid in the other state. So if I
         registered mine here in Florida and paid its 6%, then registered it in SD, I'd pay
         nothing in SD. But, I recommend you call that number. The lady I talked to said
         I should have a SD address (but didn't say they wouldn't register me if all I had
         was a PO Box.) But the Alternative Resources mail forwarding and 1-800
         service has a street address which you would use. Looks just like a residence
         address. Their phone number is 1-800-477-2664. I talked to a guy named
         Paul, and he is sending me a pamphlet on their services. Also, I was surprised
         to find out that insurance on it is cheaper with a Florida address than either SD
         or Texas. Steve 
 

Posted by Kirk on March 09, 1999 at 21:58:01:
        In Reply to: Re: Mail forwarding services posted by Steve Turney on March 09, 1999
         Just wondering what you do if you get called for jury duty no matter where you
         call home? In Texas you are exempt from jury duty after 70, but before that?
         

Posted by Julie Woodbury on March 15, 1999 at 12:38:06:
         I would like to know what problems Stpehanie had with Mail Boxes Etc in
         Souix Falls as we are currently in the process of signing up for their service to
         establish a SD address for our residency.
 

Posted by george on March 16, 1999 at 06:47:07:
        In Reply to: Mail forwarding services posted by Julie Woodbury on March 15, 1999
         I would also like to hear about that problem. We are leaning more toward
         Texas and the escapee.com group, but would be interested in knowing about
         insurance costs and such in SD. Another good source of information might be
         the bbs at rvamerica.com thanks in advance 

Posted by Chuck Mercer on March 18, 1999 at 11:44:47:
        In Reply to: Re: Mail forwarding services posted by george on March 16, 1999
        at 06:47:07:
      She posted a reply up there: | | | V
 

Posted by Rio Beckwith on April 17, 1999 at 13:14:49:
         I just visited my mail drop and the owner advised me of new postal regulations
         and had me fill out change of address forms. You are no longer allowed to use
         a PO Box address with a private mail drop. Your new address must show
         PMB# and the street address. That is OK (Except for the pain in the butt of
         notifying all my corresponents of a change of address). But here is the neat part:
         I had to furnish two ID's, one of which had to have my photo and I had to
         prove a REAL ADDRESS. ie, NOT my mail drop!! I can still work around
         this because I have a "real" address until next Friday, but what are you folks
         with only a "mail drop" address going to do? Please alert your full-timing friends
         and also let me know immediately via rvbeckwith@compuserve.com if you
         have information different from what I have stated above. This is an
         inconvenience for me because of the short notice but it is potentially a disaster
         for folks already on the road. If it is true, we need to write our represenatives
         immediately and get the PO Dept reigned in. I think they need a ruler to the
         back of the hand just like the IRS recently got. They work for us, they don't
         own us!! Thanx. 
 

Posted by Barbara Hofmeister on May 03, 1999 at 00:13:11:
        In Reply to: NEW POSTAL REGULATIONS posted by Beckwith on April 17, 1999
         First of all the new thing with the post office is not a "regulation" it is a policy
         and you don't have to have a "real address" other than the mail forwarding
         address. We already filled out the forms for Escapees and although it was a
         pain, it will hinder people who want to use a mail box for fraudulent purposes.
         Escapees sent a paper detailing how to fill out the form and I quote from one
         section."If you have a home base (other than an Rv) you physical address goes
         here. If you live in your RV, indicate that you line in your RV, give the state in
         which it is registered and the license number of your RV. (Example: Live in Rv,
         registered in Texas, license number 1234HHG).  
 

Posted by Rio Beckwith on May 03, 1999 at 15:37:58:
        In Reply to: Re: ALERT-NEW POSTAL REGULATIONS posted by Barbara on 5/3/99
         Obviously, there is a lot of confusion. The proprietor of my mail drop insisted
         that the address I furnished had to be something other than the address of my
         mail drop. She said nothing about using my RV. The instructions she was
         working from were from an association of private mail drop operator's.
         Incidentally, my mail drop address is a physical street address and it is even on
         my California driver's license. I inquuired when I got the license if I could use
         my mail drop street address and the DMV said "Sure. It is your choice".   

Posted by Etta on April 17, 1999 at 22:04:06:
        In Reply to: ALERT-NEW POSTAL REGULATIONS posted by Rio
        Beckwith on April 17, 1999
         We are preparing to go full time in July. I just got the same information from the
         postoffice in Oregon. We are in a small town and they know every one and
         known we are trying to see our house. They told me we could not use the
         POBox for mail pick up only that we had to have a home address. Any help
         out there 

Posted by Dave Jenkins on May 02, 1999 at 13:27:06:
        In Reply to: Re: ALERT-NEW POSTAL REGULATIONS posted by Etta on
        April 17, 1999
         Big problem for fulltimers. Escapees is on top of it as much as anybody can be,
         and you might check them out at www.escapees.com. As a side note, the
         reference that the government works for us, not the other way around -- that's
         the kind of remark that takes a tall beer to pursue! Something about the
         "Consent of the Governed" comes to mind from my long ago college degree in
         Government. Disgusting the way the tail is wagging the dog.