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I'm staying in Maggie Valley,NC for a month. And USPS does not deliver to the CG. So I have things sent with just my name and GENERAL DELIVERY, Maggie Valley, NC. I had never heard of this and thought it was funny and great. Do small post offices do this all over the U.S.?

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Yes. In big cities not every Post Office will have General Delivery. In the more rural areas, the Post Offices are geared up for this.

 

We have run into a local option where the Post Master wanted a preregistration before mail would be accepted.

 

There is always the option of UPS or FEDEX. Costs a little more and our mail service can ship that way.

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We have done general delivery a few times, but as mentioned, not every post office accepts general delivery.

Last time we did it, we had an issue getting our stuff so we try not to do it that way. MOST RV parks will accept either USPS or UPS.

 

Sue

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Yes, that's how we got the vast majority of our mail when we were fulltimers and it's how we get our mail during the winter snowbird season now. I always use the USPS website to determine which post office accepts general delivery mail. I can also look up their local telephone number which I use to call them (if it's a new post office location for us) to double check that they do accept general delivery. It's a good idea to give them a call because some post offices (like the one in Winterhaven, CA) have special hours during which you can pick up general delivery mail, or they may want you to pick it up at a special location (like a will-call window).

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Like most others, we too have at times had mail sent to "General Delivery" which is a service that has been around for years. If you expect to be in an area for more than one mail delivery or if you are in an area that has more than a single post-office, then it is a good idea to contact the main post office and let them know of the expected delivery and they will tell you where you need to do to get your mail as most areas don't have enough of it to provide the service in all offices. We were also once or twice in areas where the PO wanted anyone using General Delivery for an extended period to register with them for some reason. I suppose that may have been because it was a location of high snowbird traffic so they probably had a lot of it.

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One time when I was volunteering for an extended period I used a local post office for General Delivery and was told after about 5-6 weeks that they would only accept General delivery for a limited time and that the pick up I was making would be the last one allowed. Unfortunatley I had some mail order med's in route to that post offices General delivery. I was able to convince the post mistress to allow me that pick up when it came but she was very reluctant. That is the only place I have had that experience and I have used General delivery extensively since May of 1997. I have had one or two other offices that were less than cheerful about it if it was more than once or twice. The vast majority have been fantastic. I normally only do a 1 time per week pick up.

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Most of the time I have mail sent to the campground where we are staying. One time I found myself dry camping in a remote area where there was no service of any kind. Fortunately there was a FedEx / Kinkos store only a few miles away that would gladly accept and hold my packages until I could come by and pick them up. I believe that UPS stores will provide the same service. Just one more option to consider.

 

Safe Travels...

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We have done general delivery a few times, but as mentioned, not every post office accepts general delivery.

Last time we did it, we had an issue getting our stuff so we try not to do it that way. MOST RV parks will accept either USPS or UPS.

 

Sue

 

This, to me, is so strange. In 16 years we've never had a problem sending to General Delivery and we never called beforehand to make sure they accepted it. This also included a couple times in Alaska.

 

The only problem I see is if you used a bigger post office or if you're staying long-term and have it sent continuously and often, like every week. Then they'd probably request that you rent a P.O. box. Our use was usually once while in the area. We were travelers. We also just requested mail approx. once a month to six weeks. If we were longer at a volunteer gig then the place where we were volunteering accepted our mail.

 

'Some' RV parks, especially if you stay long-term, will accept your mail but we mainly used public parks - national, state, national forest, etc. FedEx, etc. wouldn't deliver to the places we stayed in the boonies!

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This, to me, is so strange. In 16 years we've never had a problem sending to General Delivery and we never called beforehand to make sure they accepted it. This also included a couple times in Alaska.

 

The only problem I see is if you used a bigger post office or if you're staying long-term and have it sent continuously and often, like every week. Then they'd probably request that you rent a P.O. box. Our use was usually once while in the area. We were travelers. We also just requested mail approx. once a month to six weeks. If we were longer at a volunteer gig then the place where we were volunteering accepted our mail.

 

'Some' RV parks, especially if you stay long-term, will accept your mail but we mainly used public parks - national, state, national forest, etc. FedEx, etc. wouldn't deliver to the places we stayed in the boonies!

We have run into a few PO that won't accept GD mail. Most PO are great but a few Postmaster's or Mistress run a mini fiefdom so we always call ahead and ask. We also ran in to a issue once. Funny part was that it was the small town we used to live in and when I called the Postmistress knew me by name, chatted away with me about how we were and how did we like our new lifestyle before insisting we preregister. She finally relented when I am told her the mail was on its way.

Do be cautious also about mail order. Some including Amazon use an expedited service. This means it could get dropped by UPS or FedEx at the nearest post office. In Quartzsite it will not get accepted by PO. We were lucky to know someone there who lives in a house

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One time when I was volunteering for an extended period I used a local post office for General Delivery and was told after about 5-6 weeks that they would only accept General delivery for a limited time and that the pick up I was making would be the last one allowed. Unfortunatley I had some mail order med's in route to that post offices General delivery. I was able to convince the post mistress to allow me that pick up when it came but she was very reluctant. That is the only place I have had that experience and I have used General delivery extensively since May of 1997. I have had one or two other offices that were less than cheerful about it if it was more than once or twice. The vast majority have been fantastic. I normally only do a 1 time per week pick up.

The post office in Quartzsite AZ and Bouse AZ (about 25 miles from Quartzsite) both have 30 day limits on General Delivery.

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We've run into a rare problem with getting mail at General Delivery.

 

On one occasion, the Postmistress "didn't know us," and sent it back. I felt like being really snotty and asking her how many people she knew had their mail sent to General Delivery, but I kept my mouth shut. On another occasion, we were staying in an RV park (rare for us) and I had confirmed with the RV park beforehand that we could have our mail sent to us there. Unfortunately, there was a substitute mail carrier that day, he didn't recognize our name so he sent it back (regardless of the fact that we'd had the mail sent "in care of" the RV park).

 

At another post office, the guy said they didn't accept general delivery mail (even though I had confirmed beforehand that they did). We went back the next day, got a different clerk and they handed us our mail! Another location wanted us to fill out a form before they'd give us our mail (the only time that's happened in the 17+ years we've been having mail sent to General Delivery).

 

Then there was the time we'd had mail sent to Glendive, MT. We waited and waited for the mail to arrive, extending our stay by several days. Finally, we could wait no longer, so put a change of address in at the post office and went on our way. About a month later, the missing mail caught up with us...turns out it had been misdelivered to Gardiner, MT at the north entrance to Yellowstone NP. The employees there had, evidently, not noticed that the address said Glendive, stuck it in their General Delivery slot and, a month later, pulled it out and put it back in the mail.

 

These incidents all happened way before the advent of paperless statements and online bill paying, so not receiving a scheduled mailing was way more of a problem then than it would be for us today. Other than at tax time, we usually don't get a lot of time-sensitive mail during our snowbird months. And, even then, most (but not all) tax forms that we receive can be downloaded online.

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The PO in Summerdale, AL, will only accept general delivery for 30 days. Not a problem because there are several other small towns close by where you can have mail sent if you are going to stay at Rainbow Plantation more than one month. Just keep track of time if you don't want to rent a PO box in Summerdale.

 

Linda Sand

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We have also run into the preregister thing and both 30 and 60 days as the time limit. We have a mail forwarding service, but needed delivery where we were located for the season. One campground put up a mail box so mail could be delivered. The other I took my chances and just kept ordering our mail once a month and they gave it to me even though I had been told a time limit. We try not to use general delivery.

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This, to me, is so strange. In 16 years we've never had a problem sending to General Delivery and we never called beforehand to make sure they accepted it. This also included a couple times in Alaska.

 

The only problem I see is if you used a bigger post office or if you're staying long-term and have it sent continuously and often, like every week. Then they'd probably request that you rent a P.O. box. Our use was usually once while in the area. We were travelers. We also just requested mail approx. once a month to six weeks. If we were longer at a volunteer gig then the place where we were volunteering accepted our mail.

 

'Some' RV parks, especially if you stay long-term, will accept your mail but we mainly used public parks - national, state, national forest, etc. FedEx, etc. wouldn't deliver to the places we stayed in the boonies!

If I recall correctly, we were in Benson. Sent our stuff General Delivery. 10 days later it had bounced all over the US, so we filed whatever it is you file when your mail doesn't show up. Got a phone call from the post office in Livingston- very defensive- saying it wasn't her fault, that the Escapees must have done something wrong. I pretty much said I didn't care whose fault it was, I just wanted my mail! It did show up 3 days later, but took about 2 weeks total to get there.

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