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Old 10-04-2010, 01:19 PM   #1
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1997 34' Limited
Wolcottville , Indiana
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We are preparing our "new" 34' 1997 Airstream Excella for full-timing. I have been researching banking on the road and also mail service (thinking of Escapees for mail service?)

I would like to know if any of you have advice or are particularly pleased with a bank for traveling or a mail service?

Thank you,


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Old 10-04-2010, 02:01 PM   #2
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I would simply open a Credit Union account that is part of a shared network, so you can use ANY credit union that is a member...

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Old 10-04-2010, 02:11 PM   #3
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Hi Melanie, we've been pleased with Escapees mail service.....several years now; very professional; no mistakes. And, if you are pleased with your bank(s), just change your address; no need to bank in Livingston, TX.....(I still bank in Missouri).
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Old 10-04-2010, 02:27 PM   #4
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Multiple Credit Cards and e-Banking too

I am risk manager for large credit union, and a number have relatively open membership rules.. Here would be my "tips"..

1. Shared branching is good, and usually allows access to multiple credit union branches.. Ours is +4500 branches nationwide beyond our 25...
2. Be sure they offer full electronic banking services, and should be without charge (electronic deposit from scanner, electroinic bill pay, electronic transfers, etc)
3. You should have more than one credit card in case fraud or theft shuts it down
4. Within credit union "Co-Op" network, there are no ATM fees and most take deposits remotely. Some CU's offer checking accounts that rebate any US ATM fees even at banks or other institutions...

With these, and a laptop and scanner you can do most banking from road.. (We did have member ask us when we'd offer "electronic cash withdrawals", and we had to explain that was not coming soon to his local inkjet printer..")

In Theory, there's no difference between Theory and Practice, but in Practice, there is usually a difference...
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Old 10-04-2010, 02:40 PM   #5
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We do all of our banking online. Just don't use any public WiFi. Anybody can monitor what you type & get your passwords out of thin air. WiFi is fine for e-mail & sending photos, Aiforums, & stuff like that. We use a Verizon Aircard for our privacy.

"Sometimes I wonder if the world is being run by smart people who are putting us on, or by imbeciles who really mean it." Mark Twain

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Old 10-04-2010, 03:01 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by 3 Dog Nite View Post
We do all of our banking online. Just don't use any public WiFi. Anybody can monitor what you type & get your passwords out of thin air. WiFi is fine for e-mail & sending photos, Aiforums, & stuff like that. We use a Verizon Aircard for our privacy.

A useful workaround for the public-wifi problem is having VPN service. I don't have any personal experience with the providers like witopia and surfbouncer, because I have a corporate VPN to use but I know the services exist. It's VERY difficult to compromise a VPN tunnel with a man-in-the-middle approach, I think the only ways it could be done would be to be providing the local router at the time the VPN tunnel was established and to be running some pretty high-end hacking tools, or to spend a LONG time monitoring an established VPN tunnel that was continuously operating. Odds are the bad guys would have neither the time nor the opportunity to make that worthwhile unless you're a REALLY attractive target.

The personal network cards are a great workaround as well, and make you less dependent on finding wifi when you need connectivity right NOW. Maybe when I have an Airstream of my own it'll be worthwhile to maintain one of those accounts.
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Old 10-04-2010, 03:28 PM   #7
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We are not full timers but are gone a couple of times a year for up to 12 weeks. We do all of our banking and receive statements online, staying with the hometown bank we have used for decades. Income is direct deposited, regularly recurring bills are automatically debited. No problems whatsoever. We have had a Verizon aircard 3+ years and wouldn't have anything else. We can stay wherever we choose, and don't have to look for good wi-fi in campgrounds, coffeehouses, etc.

We found out quickly that mail forwarded to rural areas could take up to 10 days Priority Mail, leaving us sitting for days in places we didn't want to be or driving back to pick up our mail. Be prepared for that.

We have heard from fellow travelers that Escapees mail-forwarding service is very reliable.

Good luck,

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Old 10-06-2010, 07:45 AM   #8
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SKP Mail

We use SKP mail and it is as reliable as you make it.we mostly plan to receive our mail via UPS or delivery to a local post office via general with most things it is a matter of timing The other benefits of Escapees are great as well,...just recently stayed at their park in Congress, AZ. Nice park, convient and reasonable cost...
and the Four P's(Paula, Phoenix and Peabody II and Pearl)…Peabody is here…..
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Old 10-06-2010, 08:00 AM   #9
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Friends: There's just no better bank in the world at supporting far-flung clients than USAA in San Antonio. And their online banking is so good, no accounting software is needed to categorize expenses and to budget. USAA has opened membership to those who served honorably in the armed forces or whose parents were members. Best wishes, John
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Old 10-06-2010, 08:54 AM   #10
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The Woodlands , Texas
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We just moved back from 3 yrs of living in one of the planet's most corrupt nation. We had a Wells Fargo PMA account, switched all of our bills to electronic billing, and used direct deposit. You can pay nearly any bill with their online bill pay, and they have an iPhone app to access your accounts through the built in 3G or edge coverage.

Only ever accessed account through VPN or 3G and never had a problem. Still use it with iPad & iPhone with no issues.

We used premium forwarding service from USPS. Worked well but probably not applicable since we did not move around.

Also had Internet cams set up in my house that I could monitor anywhere I had service.

The set up we had worked so well that no one had any idea that we were out of the country for the whole 3yrs.
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Old 10-14-2010, 12:55 PM   #11
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Direct deposit, cash from debit card @ grocery stores, auto bill pay, and "live" in an UPS store. UPS will sign for packages, forwarding service, and considered a "real address" vs a POB.
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Old 10-14-2010, 10:49 PM   #12
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Lakewood , New Jersey
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My wife and I were on the road two years. We used our Son's address and he would fedex my mail to where we were camped. I use Bank of america's online bill pay to pay my bills and most of the bills come in the form of electronic bills which eliminates paper bills.


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Old 12-08-2010, 09:03 PM   #13
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We have everything set up electronically through Wells Fargo and will probably stick with them, because the hassle of redoing all of our billpay just seems daunting, and they do have a lot of ATMs (at least in our current part of the country). Though, the fact that Chase allows you to deposit checks via iPhone is really, really tempting.
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Old 02-01-2011, 07:12 AM   #14
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I see banks, including my own, with powerful mobile apps that allow mobile check depositing, account balances, account history, fund transfers, bill paying, ATM locators and allow insurance and investment transactions. The big question is, how safe is it to bank on a smart phone or an iPad?

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