Have you ever desperately needed a shower on the way home from a camping trip or a long boondocking adventure? Many travelers and RVers may experience this situation, noticing they’re a little too dirty for their or others’ comfort. Those traveling on certain major routes have one option they may not have taken advantage of: truck stop showers.
While they may not have the best reputation, this valuable resource makes the difference between a clean, comfortable day and a smelly, gross trip. Here’s everything you need to know.
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Can Anyone Use a Truck Stop Shower?
You may wonder if anyone can use a truck stop shower. Absolutely! There’s no law, rule, or expectation that only truckers can use them. These facilities operate as businesses and will accept any paying customers. They are one of the many public shower options available to all travelers.
However, if you’re not in a rush, it can be courteous to let professional drivers go ahead of you so they can get back out on the road or enjoy their limited break time.
But whether you travel long-term or just need a shower after a weekend camping trip, you are welcome to purchase the shower services available at truck stops across the country.
Do All Truck Stops Have Showers?
Unfortunately for both you and weary truckers everywhere, not every truck stop will have showers. This is a luxury typically reserved for larger or more amenity-heavy stations that benefit from a high volume of truckers passing by.
Many truck stops may simply have a place to fuel up, park, and a convenience store or perhaps a restaurant. If they have showers, you’ll likely see something advertised on the sign. But when in doubt, ask.
What Can You Expect in a Truck Stop Shower?
While even the phrase “truck stop showers” might make your skin crawl, you generally have nothing to worry about. These are typically clean, private rooms with a shower, toilet, and sink.
You’ll have a locking door in a controlled-access area, ensuring your safety and comfort. Most large truck stops will also have a waiting area for those who’ve purchased shower access to hang out if they need to wait for an open room.
Pro Tip: No time for a shower and need to freshen up? We uncovered how to get clean with Body Wipes for Camping: Ew or Awesome?
How Do You Use a Truck Stop Shower?
To use a truck stop shower, you’ll first need to purchase access. Generally, you can do this at the cashier or another specialized area for amenities. Then, they’ll either direct you immediately to your shower or give you a number for your spot.
While you wait, feel free to take advantage of other truck stop benefits like restaurants and the store. Once they call your number, you can proceed to the shower, enter your code or use your key to get in the room.
Once you’ve showered and taken care of any other grooming needs, you’ll simply pack up your necessities and head on your way.
Pro Tip: If you’re showering on the go, try out one of these 7 Best Camping Shower Tents to Avoid Awkward Stares.
Make Sure You Have These in Your Shower Bag
Truck stop showers won’t have all your essentials within arm’s reach. While some places may supply them, you’ll generally want to bring your soap, shampoo, or other grooming or personal products like hairbrushes, skincare, and eyecare products. Don’t forget dental care items too, like toothbrushes, toothpaste, dental floss, mouthwash, and more.
Additionally, you’ll want to bring your towel and washcloths. You also step on tiles used by dozens or hundreds of other people in recent days. Despite regular cleanings, you’ll still want to bring a pair of shower shoes or flip-flops to protect your feet from anything lurking on the floor.
Beyond the essentials, you can also bring some extra items to help you enjoy your shower a bit more, even if it may not have all the frills of a luxury bathroom.
Pack a scrubber or loofa to help get extra clean, and a bathrobe can help make you comfortable as you take care of post-shower activities like brushing your teeth, shaving, applying makeup, and more.
Are Truck Stop Showers Safe to Use?
Using a shower facility at a reputable truck stop is typically very safe. You should enjoy safety benefits like completely private bathroom units and locking doors. They can also have limited access areas to prevent unauthorized people from loitering outside.
Apart from physical safety, most truck stop showers get cleaned and sanitized regularly. However, you may find exceptions. If you have concerns about the safety of a truck stop, skip it and find another down the road.
After all, you can’t take a relaxing shower if you’re worried about your safety, whether physically or health-related.
A Valuable Travelers Resource
Truck stop showers may not sound like a suitable way to get clean. But once you look past the reputation, you may find them a fantastic resource for everyone from full-time travelers to those who simply need a break on a long car trip.
They can significantly help if you need a shower while away from home. If you’re RVing, this can be handy if you have run out of water in your RV tanks, or just crave a long, hot, unlimited water shower. Perhaps you got pretty muddy and want to get a better clean than your RV shower can provide.
For a modest price, you’ll enjoy a relaxing private shower and leave ready to hit the road clean and refreshed. You may even find you want to help yourself to the other amenities at the truck stop.
While they may not be everyone’s ideal situation, it’s important to understand this valuable roadside resource.
Have you ever showered at a truck stop? Tell us about your experience in the comments below!
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