The full-timers of yesteryear were so brave. They hit the road without cell phones, the Internet, or online banking. How they managed to find their way around the continent is baffling to younger people. Thankfully we live in high tech times that make banking and full-time RVing easier than ever. If you’re new to full-timing, these tips could prove useful.
Back in the day, people used to carry little slips of paper when they shopped. They called them “checks” and businesses actually let customers use them to buy things. Nobody had credit cards either. For people living non-traditional lives, banking and full-time RVing was a total hassle. Most times you were out of luck if you tried to write a check with an out-of-state address printed on them. Full-timers needed to carry real paper money on board to cover daily needs.
Just a few decades later, smart phones give us the power to be our own bank teller. Technology has advanced and banking from the road isn’t quite the hassle it used to be. However there’s always room for improvement in the banking industry. Full-time RVers still encounter hassles but these tips can make banking and full-time RVing a bit easier.
Select a bank or credit union with widespread presence. Try different bank rating websites to compare banks across the country.
Verify your new bank accepts commercial addresses. If you are a full-time RVer, be aware that some banking institutions don’t accept commercial addresses for your main address. For instance if you are using a mail forwarding service, your bank might reject it and require a “real” residential address. Always confirm your address is acceptable before opening any accounts.
Choose one-stop banking. Certain institutions like Ally Bank are favorites among full-time RVers. Unfortunately Ally and others don’t always offer commercial banking accounts. If you are self-employed and require commercial banking services, simplify life by choosing a one-stop shop for your money needs. In addition, keeping all of your accounts under one roof could reduce or eliminate banking fees.
Take advantage of your military service background. If you or your spouse served in the armed forces, check out USAA Bank. “This is what we did, and there are also a number of veterans on this board who use USAA also, says iRV2 Forums member Craig_R. “We have found that USAA meets all of our needs while traveling.”
Manage your travel plans with the bank. Most online banking systems enable customers to inform banks of their travel plans. For example, Wells Fargo has an option to select the states where you will be located. Their system also lets you select a time frame when you’ll be there. Failure to do so could result in a declined purchase – and some embarrassment.
Modern banking is better than ever, but hassles still exist. There’s no way to possibly cover all possible scenarios that come up when you’re full-timing. If you have encountered banking issues when full-time RVing, we would appreciate hearing about your experience. Comment below and share your story.
Rene Agredano and her husband, Jim Nelson, became full-time RVers in 2007 and have been touring the country ever since. In her blog, Rene chronicles the ins and outs of the full-timing life and brings readers along to meet the fascinating people and amazing places they visit on the road. Her road trip adventures are chronicled in her blog at LiveWorkDream.com.
Barbara Palmer says
Can’t say enough good things about USAA – not only for banking, but for RV insurance. The Progressive Insurance for USAA members is a part of Progressive that only serves USAA members. Their service is excellent, and their claims payments are prompt!
Ken Westfall says
I also suggest VPN protection to guard against hacking when using WIFI in campgrounds or other public places such as Macdonald’s of Tim Hortons.
Sharee Thornberry says
I have a credit union where my retirement payments go. I have a bank card from a bank that is found in most major cities. And I have an online visa card. I have phone apps for them so I can deposit checks, pay bills, and transfer funds. I have a Zelle account so others can transfer funds to me and I can transfer funds out without knowing account numbers involved. When I do receive cash I keep it in case I am at a place that takes cash only. When I am near my credit union or bank I physically visit them and deposit excess cash (this doesn’t happen very often). Oh, and I do have checks, just in case.