Moochdocking In Miami

So moochdocking… what is it? On our way to Key West we moochdocked for only the second time, ironically the first time was with our aunt in Deleware. Our aunt and uncle, Marion and Steve, invited us to come and spend some time with them as we passed through Miami. So that’s just what we did… we slept in their driveway in Miami… actually we slept in our van which was parked in their driveway but that’s just a technicality. If you don’t know what mooch docking is, it’s parking your van or RV in someone’s driveway, preferably someone that you know, and sleeping there instead of a campground or boondocking. Our van is perfect for mooch docking and in this case allowed us to spend quality time with our family without having to feel like we were really intruding on their space… and we got to sleep in our home on wheels. I’m reminded, as always if you follow us, of a scene in National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation where Eddie says he and the misses are pretty comfy in the RV but if the kiddos could sleep inside that would be great. Well… that how it is for us, except we don’t have any kiddos with us.

What To Expect When Moochdocking – I guess that depends on what RV you are staying in and the amenities offered by your Mooch-“er” / Host. For us Steve and Marion had water and 15amp electricity. We didn’t need the water but man we sure made use of the electricity to run the air conditioner, both at night and when we left Maggie in her “home” while we went out exploring.

Should You Pay For Moochdocking? – That depends on how well you know them I guess but as a rule we would say at least offer. In our case we took them out to dinner at a nice restaurant overlooking the Miami skyline. Now, they didn’t want us to do that but we insisted. Whether you pay and how much is really up to you, but some kind of kind gesture to let your host know that you are truly appreciative is warranted.

What To Do With Your Time? – You may wonder if you should plan to spend all your time inside their home with them. Again that depends. In our case we spent most of the day time hours inside their home eating, helping to prepare meals, watching the Oscars and sharing stories of memories of family, which is the best part about visiting with family like this anyway. At night we’d retire to our home on wheels and allow them enough time to wind down before bed time. In the mornings we had a signal that if the front door was unlocked that meant they were up and we should come on in. Or, if we were moving around by the time breakfast was ready they’d knock on the door. Our uncle got a kick out of the “if the van’s rocking” joke but knocked one morning just for fun.

Almost Moochdocking – If you like the feeling of mooch docking you can always expand that beyond family by becoming a member of Boondockers Welcome, which is really just a bunch of strangers who allow strangers to stay in their driveways or on their land. Another option is Harvest Hosts, which is essentially businesses doing the same thing. Either way, there are lots of nice folks out there and not all of them are family, but many are sure to become family if you take the time to mooch dock when the opportunity presents itself. We feel like we got to know our aunt and uncle even better because of the quality time we were able to spend with them because of our van and moochdocking. We think you should try it. Just make sure you know the person whose driveway you are mooching… or it could get embarrassing.

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