After purchasing her own RV, Suzann realized there was a need for a shared parking community
Frustration turned into Development
Having just arrived in southern California, with the warm sun on my face, it now felt real. After years of saving, researching, desiring… I had finally taken the plunge and purchased my first RV. It had always been a dream of mine to go on epic road trips where I would escape the stress and worry of my urban lifestyle.
With a 1,300 mile drive back to Montana, I thought I had an unlimited amount of overnight parking and camping options. This was is it, this was going to be the beginning of adventure and freedom on the open road.
As I was turning on my headlights because it was getting dark, I saw the sun setting over Death Valley National Park. Filled with excitement, Death Valley was where I wanted to find the perfect campground to learn the ropes of my new freedom-machine.
As a single female traveling alone, with the sun already down, I justified it in my mind to risk it and drive an hour off the interstate to one of the first-come-first-serve campsites. My adventurous side felt confident about the decision, but after calling my dad, his worry left me scared and nervous.
45 miles later, as I slowly drove around the campground loop, looking site to site, searching for an open spot, defeat set in…. These campgrounds were also completely filled, and now it was apparent that I had absolutely nowhere to go…. Tears started rushing down my face. Feeling lost and lonely, now with my father worrying about me, I had to get back on the road.
Having done a little research about the RV lifestyle before I left Montana, I knew a well-lit Walmart parking lot or other box stores was a common last-minute option known to RVers so I headed back to town. My RVing dream was soon turning in to my nightmare. The road that I thought was going to bring me adventure and freedom was making me feel helpless and anxious.
Relieved the knock was not what it could have been, but ultimately tired, defeated, and scared for what lay ahead, I found a Rest Area outside of town. I parked as close to the building as I could beneath a flickering streetlight. Hearing the roar of trucks go by, the chattering of tourists coming and going, and the idling of coach buses, I tried to rest.
Out of this frustration, fear, and heartbreak, Moochdocker was born.
Not knowing the area, my only resource to finding this perfect campsite was Google. Going from website to website, searching, calling and asking for reservations… over and over again, my inquiries were met with no availability and with laughter on the other end of the phone, but on my end, I felt frustrated and defeated. All the available campgrounds within 30 minutes of the National Park were booked at least 6-months out. I could sense that it wasn’t going to be a leisurely drive back to Montana. It was going to be a huge learning-curve.
Showing up on my Google search, however, were a few campgrounds that were about an hour off the interstate. Each a public spot with no online or telephone reservation or booking capability; it was first-come-first-served.
Now I’m debating; Do I risk it. Drive an hour out of my way in a vehicle that gets 8 miles to the gallon, or do I stay here and try to find a place to boondock. I chose to stay and look.
As I drove around the town looking for open lots, city parks, or un-marked quiet streets, I found an unlit and dirty industrial park. If I parked here, would I even sleep well and have piece of mind? An uneasy feeling hit my stomach but I was running out of options.
As I settled into bed beneath the Walmart lights, my body felt at ease, but my mind was not at peace. Just as I began to doze off, thinking about the beautiful scenery I would get to see the next day in Utah… KNOCK KNOCK KNOCK. It was happening, someone was at my door.
Naturally, worst-case scenario came to my mind. Is someone breaking in, am I being robbed; do they know that I am a single female traveling alone. Someone could have been following me… what am I going to tell my father!
Hesitantly, I opened the curtains to find a security guard politely asking me to leave as they no-longer were allowing overnight parking…. I was crushed again. My eyes swelled up with tears. I fired up my freedom-machine which now felt like a beast-of-burden and drove off into the night.