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moochdocking driveway surfing

No Place to Park it? Van Life Guide To Moochdocking

What do you do when you need a place to park your traveling home, but all your typical options are full or closed?  You phone a friend…with a nice big driveway (or dock)!

This nasty COVID-19 virus is affecting everyone and especially our fellow nomads both on wheels and keels.

Campgrounds and Marinas are closing or kicking out transient travelers.  Which has left loads of people scrambling to find a place to stay where they have access to freshwater and a dump station.

Moochdocking or Driveway Surfing might be the best bet for #VanLife & RV camping right now!  Plus it’s our favorite way to visit friends & family.

Here’s our top tips on how to Moochdock like a boss and keep your hosts stoked. So they invite you back!

The information works for boaters too! Because the gear we installed in Mom’s Van is the same gear we have on our boat. And, the scenario is similar whether you’re parked at a limited-service marina, a friend’s dock, limited-service campground, or a friend’s house.

Plus, if you’re wondering how all of this self-distancing and quarantine is affecting us (and it is!)…we mention that too.

If you want to keep up with us in real-time, follow us @the_wynns on Instagram.  We also post to and check in on the conversations happening on our Facebook page.

You can also follow Mary @Marys_Van on Instagram too.

Things to consider when moochdocking

Make sure your rig will fit!

We forgot to mention this one in the video because Mom’s van is pretty small, but it’s seriously important.

Everyone likes to think they have a BIG driveway.  But just how big is it?  We need measurements because every inch counts.  Ask your friend to bust out the tape measure and give you the length and width.  (Just a reminder guys, we are talking about the size of a space to park your rig…Never mind, moving on.)

Then, ask them to look around that space for obstacles.  Are there any trees you might hit on the way in?  Even if they appear to be ‘way up there’ according to your friend, tell them to go out and measure it one more time.  Basketball goals, shrubs, overhanging trees and eaves (that’s the part of the roof that overhangs) are your worst enemy while driveway surfing.  Once you have the measurements, double-check the location on Google Earth or the map Satellite view just to confirm.

Ask about local regulations. 

Some neighborhoods allow street parking for a certain amount of days…others don’t…or sometimes you can simply request a special permit for your stay.

moochdocking or driveway surfing with our friends

Moochdocking with our fellow road tripping buds The Nealys.  They’re proud new #VanLife owners now too!

Electricity

If you hook up to an electrical connection, first check the breaker box to confirm how many amps that connection is and what other devices are sharing the connection.

Set your inverter an amp or two under what you think you can pull just to be on the safe side.  You don’t want to be overloading the connection or popping breakers.  Trust us from experience, on a hot night in TX you don’t want that breaker popping at midnight when you don’t have a way into the garage to flip the breaker!   And, make sure you have that dog bone and surge guard.

Power Set Up On Mary’s Van:

Waste

If you don’t have a composting toilet (why not?!?) and your friends don’t have a sewer dump, you may want to ask to use their toilet and shower during your stay.

We didn’t have time to swap out mom’s toilet for a composting head…but that is next on the list as it makes a huge difference in how long we can live off the grid.  Learn more here: gonewiththewynns.com/product/marine-heads-accessories

We’ve stayed on friends farms/ranches where we could sprinkle our greywater.  But, that is far and few between.  Most likely you’ll need to be conservative with water usage inside your tiny home.

One last tip, be mindful of your trash and recycling.  Confirm with your friend what’s cool and what’s not.  We’ve accidentally dumped our recycling in the neighbor’s bin because we didn’t ask first.  The neighbor wasn’t so happy.

Drinking-Water

Water tap locations & quality have varied greatly for us over the years.  We use a basic carbon-based filter at the tap to filter water before it goes into our tank….and then we have our LED UV filtered drinking tap.  Zero concerns ever!

Water Filtration Set Up On Mary’s Van

Wifi

This nifty little device helps us find and connect to WiFi hotspots from long distances.  Like a coffee shop, campground main office or our friend’s house when we’re driveway surfing!

Wifi Booster: wifiranger.com/shop/product/158-converge-denali

Be a good neighbor! 

We always offer to help out around the house, make a grocery run and of course I love cooking for others.  A surefire way to anyone’s heart is through their stomach.  If you’re not a cook, purchase something to share!  Wine, cheese, chocolate, coffee…everyone has a vice. Happy Moochin 😁

 

🎥CAMERA GEAR USED To Film THIS VIDEO📷

🎶Music In This Video:

🙏 MADE POSSIBLE BY YOU!

Ups, downs and all around, we share it all.  We’re able to do so because people like you show up each week, read, watch, comment, share, shop our gear store and put tips in our production jar.  If you like what you see, there are lots of FREE ways you can show your support.  Thank you for being a part of the journey!

Hello there! I honestly don’t know what to say, so I am going to tell you a bunch of random facts instead. I'm a fish eating vegetarian who hates spiders and loves snakes. I almost never took vacations growing up. I wanted to be Pippi Longstocking (still do). I misspell about every other word I write and still struggle with grammar. I love splurging on a good high tea (which is really hard to find these days). And whatever you do, don’t tell me I can’t do something, because then I'll HAVE to do it!

Comments (36)

  • Ausbin G Pippin, Jr.

    As a RV owner I have really been enjoying this series since you have been back in the states. It has provided information on a lot of areas that I was not aware of. Being with your mother is times that you always hold dear to your heart. Be safe and enjoy you trip here in the states until you can return to the sea.

    reply
  • Ryan

    Censorship. Neat

    reply
    • Curious Minion

      Ryan: Your comment was insensitive and insulting to people who may not have a choice in the matter. Censorship stands.
      CM

      reply
  • Ryan

    Censorship. Neat.

    reply
    • Stephen Hoevelman

      While we don’t want to go overboard with this PC stuff, we are all friends here. And you care about friends feelings. I feel certain you are welcome here, but not all comments are. I don’t remember a comment being censored before, so, play nice.

      reply
  • YDion

    Very useful information as I’m slowly upgrading my 5W for longer and longer trips… Thanks folks, very generous of you to share this knowledge. Stay healthy !

    reply
  • Wenzel's Wayside

    This sounds like Boondockerswelcome.com That’s a really cool site to park your rig at someones home for free! We are host on the central coast of CA. And it is such a cool way to meet people from all over the world and during these times, there is minimal contact…so everyone stays safe!

    reply
  • Ryan

    If you’re going to do it by choice, be self sufficient. Isn’t that sort of the whole point…?

    reply
    • Stephen Hoevelman

      Absolutely! But being self sufficient doesn’t mean being a hermit. As Nikki said, make yourself as useful as you can, so your hosts are glad you came. It is always good when company leaves, but you want them looking forward to you coming back. Bring something to the party.

      reply
  • Alan Solomon

    Great knowledge and knowhow. Exciting gadgets to be had. Aaamazing February weather..

    Thanks,

    reply
  • William

    That’s so cool how you mooch off everyone and try and make them think it’s all cool for them and the neighborhood

    They pay for the house n driveway
    You just show up for the good times
    Take off when you get bored and need new stimuli for you and your crew

    Throw them a potluck dinner and call it even . So nice of you

    What’s not to like ? Why be tied down ? Just use other people’s stuff , you know … like a mooch

    Look up the definition if you are confused man…

    reply
    • Curious Minion

      Well presumably these are people who like you and have invited you to stay in their driveway. One of the best things about full-timing in an RV is that it allows you to reconnect with friends and family in a way that you cannot do if you have a traditional lifestyle and only get 2 or 3 weeks of vacation a year. My family and friends have been delighted to have me stay with them for a few days or more. I’ve been able to stay with relatives while they recover from surgery or to give a full-time caretaker a much-needed break. The key is to offer to pitch in for the electric bill, buy some groceries or help out with chores around the house. Each time I’ve moochdocked it’s been a great experience for everyone and I’ve always been invited back. It’s not mooching off society – why so angry?
      Curious Minion

      reply
      • Stephen Hoevelman

        Almost anybody is welcome here if they bring there own house.:)

        reply
  • John M

    “Thicker the cord less amperage you loose”…. actually not correct. The smaller cord has more resistance so for the same current, the voltage drop across the cord is greater. You don’t actually loose amps but will have less voltage at the end of the smaller cord. For example, With a smaller cord and lower voltage it could take longer to heat up your water.

    But you have the correct idea…..Keep the cord length as short as possible and use a larger cord when available.

    I enjoy your travels!

    reply
  • Kelley

    Love watching you help your Mom! FYI…I was just poking around the Thousand Trails website and saw a picture of you two around a campfire in Arizona!

    reply
  • Roger B

    We don’t have a wi-fi booster, however, we do have a cell booster for our unlimited data plan and solar for keeping batteries charged, even on cloudy days. We also have a 1500 watt pure sine wave solar generator with a 200 watt briefcase solar panel to keep that charged if we need it.

    reply
  • SubVet571

    Your videos are excellent. I can’t believe the amount of time and effort that you put into them. They really appear to be professional production quality. I’m sure practice makes perfect, but there are plenty of other people putting out videos, who have more experience, that don’t touch the product you put out. So, thank you. Keep up the good work. I hope you are able to find somewhere safe to ride out the virus scare. Looking forward to your next adventure.

    reply
  • Jim S.

    Getting “conflicting” messages over the airwaves here (Ohio). On TV the last few days they put out stories about people going out camping. But, in reality, they ordered closed all the state park campgrounds. The neighboring state / states ordered closed “all” private and state campgrounds. Are not campsites far enough away to satisfy “Social Distancing”.
    Many of the grocery stores have ended 24 hours operation. Others have reduced their hours they are open. If my math is right, doesn’t that pack more shoppers into a tighter amount of hours available to shop? Maybe its some sort of new fuzzy math calculation. If I was living in a high density apartment complex, I would rather be out full timing in a RV “IF” I could secure a site for 30-60 days till this thing passes. I’m going to assume the coasts which are getting hit the hardest will be hard for full time RVers to get a site.

    reply
    • steve

      Isn’t the concept of “social distancing” exactly the opposite of crashing in grandma’s driveway, and using her bathrooms and kitchen and making merry with her and old friends ?

      Wouldn’t it be more responsible – until Corona has subsided – to isolate yourself wherever you safely can ?
      Between Walmart, Kmart, Target, Kroger, and all the farmland, dirt roads, empty Mall parking lots, and apocalyptically abandonded manufacturing sites across America ,,it would seem more responsible to set up camp there than at Grandma’s

      reply
  • Louis Miller

    Where is limbo , I’ve looked all over the globe and I can’t find limbo 😁 , keep in having fun .

    reply
  • Greg

    I really really do appreciate what you guys are doing… And I want to stay connected because I am thinking about doing what your mother’s doing… I also will need your help immensely!!! Thanks again! God bless you both!!!

    reply
  • Cindi from WI

    Our term for this is
    “The Instant Neighbor Program”.
    It sounds better than “Moochdocking”

    reply
  • Kerri

    Thanks for all the great info! FYI, the link you provided for the WiFi ranger is dead. 🙂

    reply
    • Curious Minion

      Woops, thanks! We’ll get on that. Check back in a few hours.
      Curious Minion

      reply
  • T C Spencer

    My Solution – Sell your 15 year old sail boat
    and trade your Mom’s RV into a longer RV
    Jason and Nikki can travel together with Mary

    reply
  • James

    Moochdocking. ROTFLOL!

    reply
  • Jeanette Brennan

    Thanks for all the awesome info! It’s so great that you share your knowledge snd experiences with us and especially with your Mum! Stay safe and healthy! Good luck to you both and Mum! 🙏💝⛵️🚐🙏

    reply
  • Greg

    What is a “dog bone”? It isn’t the obvious… Is it?

    reply
  • Paul Holstein

    Pro Tip: If you will be staying for more than a couple of weeks, consider hiring an electrician and adding a 30 or 50 amp outlet outside your friend’s garage to plug into. This could run from $100 – $300 but can make a world of difference.

    reply
    • Gene Beavers

      Plus doing that at your expense endears you to your friends or relatives and will probably mean they will welcome you back the next time.

      reply
    • Kerri

      We live in a tiny house in someone’s yard and did just that. It’s been nice to not worry too much about amp pull and made it easier on the home owners.

      reply
  • JEFFERY PICCOLI

    I’ve had the experience of living in a condo in an urban setting, and on a 37′ Valiant sailboat. With regard to the former, you can be independent and choose to be self sufficient. As for the latter, you can’t. You need people for business, social, and support. The naive dream of living off the grid, alone, and independent is not a reality. It’s more of a reality living in that urban condo then on wheels or keels. Keels especially requires constant, consistent dependence on others.

    reply

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