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Boon-docker versus Squatter

  • Boon-dockers versus Squatters

              Because of the covid-19 travel restrictions, there has been an increase in RVers’ parking overnight at retail parking lots and at highway rest stops. I have noticed that within the RV community, it appears there are two identifiable communities. There are the transient boon-dockers who are respectful and appreciate free accommodation. Then there are the squatters who feel they have the right to permanent residence on private property and rest-stops, which is making overnight parking difficult for boon-dockers.

              The boon-docker does not attract attention or overstay their welcome. They support the businesses where they park overnight. Within the boon-docking community, there are also the legitimate homeless who due to circumstances, live in vehicles who also do not draw negative attention.

              The second community squats, which adversely affects overnight boon-docking in parking lots. The squatter moves in at a retail parking lot or highway rest-stop by marking their territory with broken down vehicles, furniture and junk. When told to move by retailers or highway authorities, they become irate and claim they have the right to squat. As a result, it is becoming more difficult for boon-dockers to park overnight at these locations.

              The squatter issue is becoming a problem for truckers at highway rest-stops. The squatter leaves no parking for truckers who need the mandatory rest. Squatters also park illegally along the thorough fares, which have no parking signs displayed. This prevents trucks from exiting the rest-stop. The squatter will not move their vehicle for fear of losing their spot. The squatters band together to ensure they do not lose their parking spot if they must leave. Other squatters will occupy the vacant spot with another vehicle or equipment until they return. Boon-docking courtesy is moving for truckers, who are an essential service, if there is no parking for them. The actions of these squatters cause truckers to become irate and lodge complaints to the authorities, who in turn assume boon-dockers are the same as squatters.

              I hope that the retailers and highway rest-stop authorities will begin to recognize a boon-docker from a squatter. Allow boon-dockers to continue appreciating their hospitality and support their businesses. Evict the squatter and welcome the boon-docker.

    Dan Johnson, CD