Truck stop showers aren’t something you even consider until you own an RV or take a long road trip. Sometimes you just want to take a long, hot shower, and that’s not always possible at the campsite.
That’s when a truck stop shower comes into play. Let’s review why we love and hate this bathing option!
Why Consider a Truck Stop Shower?
Savvy travelers know of a few hygiene options on the road. You can always use Epic Wipes, shower at a campground, and even snag a shower at a gym. Some RVers keep their gym membership active just so they can grab a nice shower (whether it’s after a workout or not).
Another alternative is the truck shop shower. Overall, the truck shop shower experience is pretty hassle-free. It’s something we’ve grown to appreciate quite a bit and even look forward to at times. They aren’t too expensive and are a great option when in a pinch.
What Is A Truck Stop Shower?
Not all truck stops have shower facilities, but most of them do. Chains like Pilot and Flying J have accommodations that border on what you’d find in a hotel. TravelCenters of America have showers, and so do many Love’s locations.
The shower facilities at a truck stop are usually very clean. Additionally, they are safe and secure because they have locked doors. Typically, you access the shower by punching in a code or using a key.
We’ve found that the showers at independently owned truck stops can be kind of iffy. Feel free to ask to inspect them before you commit!
Truck Stop Shower Etiquette
While truck stop showers are usually open to anyone who wants to use them, they are mainly used by truckers, so we always go out of our way to stay out of theirs. It’s a big no-no to park your rig in a place that will block them from fueling up.
Also, truck stop showers often have a few drivers waiting for their turn. If you see a waiting area crowded with truckers, it’s a good idea (and good etiquette) to come back at another time when there is less demand.
After all, they are the ones who are on a busy schedule. Many of them are away from home for weeks at a time, so they depend on these truck stop showers as part of their routine.
Truck Stop Shower Cost
Generally, truck stop showers cost between $12 and $17. However, you can rack up credits toward free showers when you buy fuel, snacks, earn points.
Here’s a tip, too. Be nice to the truckers and make friends with them if you can. Because they fill up with a few hundred gallons at a time, they’ve usually got more shower credits than they need!
The truck stop can supply you with a towel, soap, and shampoo, but we always take our own. In fact, we have a shower caddy that’s already stocked with our favorite shampoo and body wash. Shower sandals are a must, even though truck shop showers are typically cleaned after every use.
Pros of Truck Stop Showers
If you’re boondocking a lot and trying to conserve water, indulging in a truck stop shower is a great way to conserve. If you do a lot of outdoor activities, you can work up quite a sweat or get yourself muddy or dusty and in need of a good scrub.
Other times, after hours on the highway, you might just want some down time to relax and pamper yourself, and there’s nothing like a good hot shower to restore some energy.
Traveling means stretching your budget, and a truck stop shower might seem like an extravagance. You can cut the costs in half by sharing your shower time with your travel partner. Either literally by bathing together in the private space or by going one after the other. (Store personnel are usually fine with this because it means one less cleaning between customers.)
You can also justify the cost if you decide to bed down for the night in the parking lot. Many truck stops allow overnight parking, so you could just stay put for a while and take advantage of the truck stop’s other conveniences, too.
Cons of Truck Stop Showers
This whole idea might just sound weird to you, and we can relate to that. Maybe you’re a clean freak and you can’t imagine yourself being comfortable enough to strip down and take a shower in such a public setting. But again, truck stop showers are in no way communal, and trucker’s value their privacy, too.
Some people have mentioned they are uncomfortable bringing personal belongings into a public setting like a convenience store. Truck shop employees are totally used to seeing people come in with a change of clothes, an extra towel and a bag of toiletries, so they won’t even bat an eye. Many truck stops have separate entrances near the showers so you can duck in and out a little more discreetly. We’ve also seen people put their shower bags and things inside a book bag so it seems a little more casual.
If you think those long lines during peak hours are something you can’t bear, just find a better time to go, when there’s less demand. Obviously, timing your showers like this isn’t the most convenient option. Maybe it’s during the middle of the day when most truckers are making time on the roads. We’ve had good luck in the early morning or late at night.
There are good things and bad things about taking a truck shop showers, but we can understand if you feel intimidated. We were a little cold on the idea ourselves initially but warmed up to it quickly when we realized there was nothing to be afraid of. Speaking from personal experience, we’d offer this advice: Go on in, the water’s fine!