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Moochdocking: The Budget-Friendly Alternative to Campgrounds

Looking for Ways to Save Money on Rv Travel?

 We get it. Travel can be expensive, and you want to make your dollar stretch as far as possible. The good news? There are tons of ways to make RV travel a little more budget-friendly. One of the best options is to give moochdocking a try. 

Whether you’re wondering what on earth moochdocking is, or you have been considering trying it but don’t know where to begin, you’ve come to the right place. In this article, we will discuss everything you need to know to get started on your moochdocking journey so you can start saving money as you travel the US.

What is Moochdocking?

Before we go any further, we have to take a minute to discuss what moochdocking actually is. After all, this isn’t a term you hear every day, and if you’re new to the world of RVing, you’ve probably never heard it before. Since you can’t really do any moochdocking without knowing what it is, a definition is definitely a good place to begin. 

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The term combines the words “mooch” and “boondocking,” and describes the act of parking your RV and camping in someone’s yard or driveway without paying for the spot. People sometimes also refer to moochdocking as “driveway surfing.”

People usually moochdock in the yard or driveway of a friend or family member, but services exist that connect campers with people willing to host moochdockers (more on that later).

Sometimes electricity, water, and/or a place to dump tanks are included, and sometimes none of those things are available. This is totally dependent on the property you are parking on and the individual who is hosting you. 

Reasons to Choose Moochdocking

Why would you choose moochdocking over staying in a campground? Because moochdocking spots don’t usually cost anything—or cost just a small amount to cover utilities—the most obvious reason to choose it is to save money. That said, there are other benefits to moochdocking. 

For instance, staying on land that belongs to a friend or family member might mean you get to see more of them during your visit to their area. Meanwhile, if you happen to pick a host you don’t yet know, you’re likely to make a new friend during your stay. 

Another moochdocking benefit? Sometimes you end up parked in some beautiful places that include views and experiences you simply wouldn’t find in a private park. 

Where to Find Moochdocking Opportunities

As you can see, moochdocking is a pretty cool thing. That said, finding places to try your hand at moochdocking can be tough.

We recommend starting with friends and family. Do you know anyone with a bunch of land or a big driveway who might be willing to host you for a few nights? If so, go ahead and ask if you might stay there while you’re in town. When possible, offer a service or meal in exchange.

If you’re headed to a place where you don’t have any connections and want to do some moochdocking, you might try a service such as Boondockers Welcome or Harvest Hosts:

  • Boondockers Welcome is an awesome service that connects individuals who are willing to share their yard or driveway for a few nights at a time with RVers who are looking for places to stay.
  • Meanwhile, Harvest Hosts connects farmers, vineyard owners, and owners of businesses who would like to host RVers with said travelers. Both are excellent memberships to have on hand!

Things to Remember when Moochdocking

Moochdocking is a great way to get to know people and see the country on a budget. That said, it’s very important to remember that you are staying on someone else’s property and to respect that.

Here are some simple rules to follow while moochdocking in order to ensure you are a good guest and will be welcome back again next time. 

Always Ask Permission

When you pull into your campsite, it’s likely that your host will let you know what you’re welcome to use in terms of utilities. If you’d like to use something that wasn’t offered, be sure to ask before you do it. You should never hop onto someone’s Wi-Fi network, use their dumpster, or fill up with their water hose if they haven’t given you permission to do so. 

Limit Utility Usage

If you are given permission to use the trash can, water, or electricity, try to limit your usage. Obviously, you don’t want to run up the electric or water bill or fill the dumpster up. Therefore, this isn’t the time to flush your tanks, run your air conditioner all day long, or purge your pantry. 

Pack It In, Pack It Out

When you go out boondocking on public land, as in this case, ensure that you take back out anything you bring onto your host’s land. If no one provides you with a place to dump your sewage, take it to a dump station (never dump it on the ground!). Meanwhile, if the dumpster is off-limits, you’ll need to find a trash can elsewhere. 

Offer Payment

Lastly, it’s important that you always offer to pay for the place to stay, especially if you use any utilities at all. After all, your host is very kind to share their space with you. They shouldn’t have to pay for the electricity or water you’ve used, and you should always offer a little something to show that you appreciate them. This doesn’t have to be the amount you would pay for a campsite; just a small gift of thanks. 

We think moochdocking is a great addition to any RV travel itinerary. We love that it allows RVers to save money so they can take even more trips, and the fact that you’ll make new friends along the way is an incredible added bonus.

So what are you waiting for? Why not make moochdocking plans today?

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