Moochdocking is a great way to park your RV for free and spend quality time with friends and family.
If you’ve ever had a friend crash on your couch for a few nights without expecting anything in return, you’re probably familiar with the concept of couch surfing. For RVers, the equivalent is called moochdocking.
What is Moochdocking? Moochdocking is RV camping on a friend or family’s property for free. This might mean parking in their driveway, on the street, or somewhere on their land. Moochdocking does come with some risks like ticking off grouchy neighbors or getting a citation for parking illegally but with a little bit of advance planning, it also has some big rewards: free camping all over the country and getting to visit loved ones.
Follow neighborhood rules. It’s a good idea to start by figuring out these two things. Will your hosts HOA allow you to park an RV on the property, and will your RV fit into the moochdocking site? If possible, ask your host to send you some pictures of the property. Make sure to get shots of the road leading into and away from the property, the driveway, the exact spot you plan to park, and any cables, wires, or trees that might hand down and get in the way. In addition, take a look at google maps for another layer of added protection.
Parking on a Street. When it comes to moochdocking, you are not just limited to your host’s driveway. You may also be able to park on the street in front of their house. Again, you need to know if there are any restrictions for doing so. And as reliable as your host might be, don’t take their word for it. Double check the laws yourself. Getting a citation or waking up to a police officer banging on your door will definitely put a damper on your moochdocking trip.
Privacy. Another thing to consider with this particular set up is privacy. A StreetSide spot may lack privacy and your very presence might bother or inconvenience the surrounding neighbors. to help with this, have your host speak to the neighbors before you arrive and make sure they’re ok with it. If possible, try to find a spot on the street that is quiet, secluded, and easy to navigate. This way, your RV will be out of the way of other cars and can avoid backing up or backing in easy and easy out.
Don’t get stuck. If you lucky, you may be able to moochdock beyond the street and driveway spot. Do you have friends that own a farm or acreage? Or maybe family that lives along a stream or quiet country road? While this may seems like a dream moochdocking scenario, there are still a few things to be aware of. First, find out if the land you are planning to park on is soft, sandy, or prone to flooding. And second, make sure there is enough room for you to turn your RV around. Getting stuck in the mud or having to back out of a site are not ideal situations.
Hookups and Courtesy. In addition to finding the right site to moochdock, you also need to have a plan for powering and dumping. Will you plug into your host’s electrical outlets, run off a generator or rely on solar panels? If you plan on plugging into your host’s power source, make sure you don’t run all of your RV appliances at once and trip a breaker in their home. RV’s with 30 or 50 amp services, you will need an adapter to plug into a standard 20 amp residential outlet. When moochdocking, it doesn’t hurt to bring your own fresh water. Even if you plan to hookup at your host’s house having extra water in the freshwater tank could come in hand. And remember to NEVER empty your tanks at your moochdocking site. Instead, find a dump station your way out. That is one way to ruin a friendship and get uninvited forever. (Unless you get to stay at our host’s with full-hook up like in our video here. How to Moochdock.)
Final thoughts. If your host is family or close friends, you could probably stay longer than 3 days, just don’t wear out your welcome. And don’t forget to thank your hosts for their hospitality. Even better, show your thanks by giving them a small gift.