A Guide To Moochdocking This Holiday Season

Moochdocking means camping in a friend's or relative's driveway in your RV.  In a lot of ways, moochdocking resembles boondocking, with one key difference.

When you are moochdocking, you still get access to water, power, and Wi-Fi, whereas boondocking requires your RV to be completely self-sustaining.

RVers have their own rolling guesthouse that they can bring to their host. This is particularly handy over the holiday season, when everyone wants to enjoy family time together.

Moochdocking etiquette

Moochdockers are usually welcome over the holidays. However, it's a good idea to know the rules of good moochdocking conduct.

1. Always ask first

Don't assume it's okay to show up with your rig and camp out. Instead, ask your hosts if it's okay to bring your RV.

Make sure to ask where to park; if it's okay to hook up to power and fill up with water; ask if you can do laundry and/or shower in the house; ask where to put your trash; and make sure your pet is welcome too.

2. Offer to help out

Helping out with chores like cooking, babysitting, dog walking, or snow shoveling will make you an easy guest who will be welcome back next year.

3. Offer to contribute money 

If you're staying with friends or family, they'll appreciate an offer to help contribute to their electric bill for the time you are hooked up.

4. Keep a neat and tidy campsite

Try to keep your stuff contained in your RV as much as possible. Don't put bags of trash outside the RV for animals to potentially get into.

5. Don't (ever) dump your tanks

Remember that Cousin Eddie scene in Christmas Vacation? Don't be that guy. Arrive with empty tanks, and if they get full, take them to a dump station to empty.

6. Know how to get water

In some cases, you can hook up to city water when you moochdock. If temperatures are below 32º F (0º C), you'll need a heated water hose for this.

Usually, it's easier to fill your freshwater tank for a short-term stay. That way, your hose won't be in anyone's way.  Fill your tank with a drinking water hose to avoid introducing chemicals and mold into your water supply.

7. Be careful hooking up to power

It's always a good idea to use a surge protector to protect your RV's electrical system, just in case the power supply is wired wrong or the power isn't steady.

Make sure the outlet has 120 volts and not the 240 volts that is normal for a residential 30-amp power outlet. Use a digital multimeter set to AC to test the circuit before you plug in.