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Moochdocking Pros and Cons

| Updated May 31, 2023

Let's talk about Moochdocking pros and cons, even though I much rather title this post “Moochdocking Misadventures with a Malodorous Dog.”


Best watch the video below to understand my inclination to change the title.

But to cut to the chase, just before we left on the moochdocking family gathering we feature in the video, our dog, Bo, decided to roll in the poop of some animal that had deposited a pile on our front lawn.

Then, no sooner did we arrive at our son's house across the state and set up our moochdocking campsite in his back yard, then Bo found some other creature's poop and rolled in it.

Twice in the same day. On the same trip.

What is Moochdocking?

moochdocking with family
Moochdocking with family

At its most basic level, moochdocking is spending the night for free in your RV on the property of friends or family.

Some people call it driveway surfing.

Often it is overnighting in a driveway.

Or out back.

Or on the lawn.

Or sometimes on the street out front like Cousin Eddie in the Christmas Vacation movie, though we strongly recommend that you don't imitate what he did in that infamous scene out front of good old Clark Griswald's House.

Moochdocking Pros and Cons: Con #1

Bo and the tree
Bo and the squirrel

Dirty Dogs – Whether moochdocking or staying in a campground, a dog can make for lots of extra work. But at a friend or relative's place, the dirty dog's mess is always more problematic.

Your pooch will want to go in your friend's house, they will divert your attention from family and conversations and will require you to be very diligent about cleaning up after them.

In a campground, you tend to keep your pet on a rope at all times, or, if they are small, inside a portable cage at the campsite. When moochdocking, they have greater freedom and thus can get in more trouble.

Moochdocking Pros and Cons: Con #2

Your RV can damage the lawn or property. Our small Class C weighs 11,000 pounds. Your's may very well way much more.

You really need to be careful in choosing a place to park it. A cement or blacktop driveway is the safest.

But if you are parking on grass, be sure you don't drive over sprinkler heads or leave big divots on the lawn.

Use Snapads or blocks for your leveling jacks to avoid causing damage

Moochdocking Pros and Cons: Con #3

The Neighbors may object. Unless you have lots of space like we did on our family moochdocking trip shown in the video, an RV or big camper may not be welcome in the neighborhood.

Many neighborhood associations prohibit people from overnighting in an RV.

Moochdocking Pros and Cons: Con #4

The City might prohibit it. Some cities outright prohibit anyone from occupying an RV on private residential property.

Other municipalities don't even allow an RV to be parked there. Period. Whether or not it is occupied.

Moochdocking Pros and Cons: Con #5

It may be far from level. If you have a leveling system, this is an issue that usually can be easily overcome. But if not, driving your wheels up on leveling blocks or two by six boards may require a lot of finessing.

There are a lot of steep driveways out there. Curving ones can be pretty tricky too.

Let's get positive now.

Moochdocking Pros and Cons: Pro #1

Newbie RV Advice - Jennifer's "office" in the RV. Mike can be seen in his area in the back.
In a previous RV – Jennifer's “office” in the front and Mike can be seen in his area in the back.

You have your own bedroom and bathroom. If you've ever spent a sleepless night tossing and turning on a mumpy mattress in a guest bedroom, you'll appreciate why it's so awesome to travel with your own bed.

Your RV is your space, complete with an en suite bathroom.

Moochdocking Pros and Cons: Pro #2

You don't put anyone out. You're not a bother. No one has to wash clean sheets for you. Or have one of their kids give up their bed for you. You are not inconveniencing anyone.

Moochdocking Pros and Cons: Pro #3

The SoftStartRV installs on the RV air conditioner to help it run off yourRV battery system and low power hookups
The SoftStartRV installs on the RV air conditioner to help it run off your RV battery system and low power hookups

You have electricity and water you can hook up to. If you have an extension cord, you can usually plug into an outlet in your host's garage.

And if you have a great device like a SoftStart RV installed on your RV, that household 20 amp service will power our RV air conditioner.

Run your hose to an outdoor faucet and you have city water.

All the convenience of a campground right there in the driveway (or yard).

Moochdocking Pros and Cons: Pro #4

Family and friend time. Your family and friends may not be campers. This way, you can camp, they are comfortable in their home and you all can spend lots of quality time together.

That, to us, is the absolute best part about moochdocking.

Moochdocking Pros and Cons: Pro #5

You get to go camping! It's no secret that these days, finding open spots in a campground requires a lot of advance planning, reservations, and luck.

If you are moochdocking, there's always a vacancy. Even on weekends and holidays.

We've written a lot about moochdocking and finding great overnight spots here. If you'd like more resources, here are a few of our related articles to check out:

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To add your own locations, you need to get the free app for your smartphone so you can add spots and share them with others as you travel! Click the link in the lower-right corner of the map and start adding YOUR favorite places. Already we've found many new places to explore during our RV adventures and you will too!

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Want to learn how to boondock?

We created a PRINT version of our most popular guide to help you with the most common boondocking problems. We get a ton of questions from our subscribers about how to get started boondocking that range from where to go and wild animals to water conservation to what equipment to use and more. 

Moochdocking Pros and Cons 1

Throw off the shackles of traditional RV Parks and campgrounds, stop paying high fees every night that you spend in your RV, and experience the boundless amounts of nature while boondocking!

You’re done with the noisy RV parks, the 3.5 feet of room you have squished in between two other RVs, and other people’s kids running through your campsite?

You’ve ditched the hookups, the concrete blocks and have replaced them with self-leveling and Navy showers?

This is the book for you.

Mike Wendland

Published on 2022-05-18

Mike Wendland is a multiple Emmy-award-winning Journalist, Podcaster, YouTuber, and Blogger, who has traveled with his wife, Jennifer, all over North America in an RV, sharing adventures and reviewing RV, Camping, Outdoor, Travel and Tech Gear for the past 12 years. They are leading industry experts in RV living and have written 18 travel books.

4 Responses to “Moochdocking Pros and Cons”

May 19, 2022at7:33 am, Kay Scanlon said:

How can you plug into electric in someone’s garage? It’s not the same as a campground with 30 amp service.


May 19, 2022at8:36 am, jacques g decarie said:

30 amp to 20amp adaptors are plentiful and inexpensive. You will simply need to avoid running more than one appliance at a time and avoid running ac unit altogether if you don’t have a soft start unit.


January 05, 2022at7:19 am, Straight Talk About RV Camping In 2022 | RV Lifestyle said:

[…] and more RVers will moochdock in the driveways and on the private property of friends and relatives. We only half-tease our son, […]


September 06, 2021at7:19 am, What Is Moochdocking and Why Should RVers Care? - Travel Maps said:

[…] Lifestyle blogger Mike Wendland wrote a fantastic piece about Moochdocking this past August (2021). Moochdocking is apparently something he does quite frequently. A lot of […]


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