Sometimes when RVing on the road, you just need to take a clean shower.
Perhaps your RV shower is small, you’ve run out of water, have a full grey tank, or maybe you’re a van lifer/small RVer without a shower in your rig.
After all, staying clean becomes ever-more important while travelling in an RV because you’re probably adventuring into the rugged wilderness.
So, if your RV shower situation is in flux, you might be wondering: How are truck stop showers and if you can take a shower at a truck stop if I’m not a trucker?
Truck stop showers can be a great option for taking a shower on the road because they are clean, affordable, and refreshing — as long as you know the right ones to go to.
In this article, we’ll talk all about how to find truck stop showers, how much do they cost, what to expect when you find them, and the things you need to have the best experience possible at a truck stop gas station shower.
How Do I Find A Truck Stop With Showers?
One of the best ways I’ve found to find truck stops with showers (along with all sorts of free camping options) is to use the AllStays app.
This handy little app has been a welcome companion for my wife and I on our 4+ year journey of full-time RVing.
AllStays actually has a search filter you can put on to find truck stops with showers near you.
By using AllStays to search, you’ll be sure to find the best truck stop showers because they are reviewed by people who have actually used them.
Where Can I Take Truck Stop Showers?
While AllStays will show you all the truck stops near you with showers, it pays to know a bit about the truck stop brands out there that you should look for.
Here’s a guide to the big ones:
What Are Truck Stop Showers Like?
If you’re like me, when you first hear truck stop shower your brain conjures up an image of a dirty, grimy shower that’s scary to use.
But nothing could really be further from the truth. As long as you use established truck stops like Loves, Flying J, or TA, you’re almost guaranteed to have a great truck stop shower that’ll leave you feeling safe and squeaky clean.
That’s because these companies serve thousands of truckers each year who usually have no other place to take a good shower.
Places like Flying J, Love’s, and TA are all staking their reputations on becoming known as a great shower spot in the trucking community.
As an RVer, you benefit from this competition by enjoying truck stop showers that:
Are thoroughly cleaned between each use
Include clean, large towels
Some showers even have high end tile and furnishings like a nice hotel
A private bathroom area
Ample space for toiletries
Included high quality soap & shampoos (or you can bring your own)
Independent family owned truck stops will usually also have wonderful truck stop showers so we certainly don’t want to discourage you from going to those either!
Just be sure that no matter where you go for a truck stop shower that you’re using AllStays and Google to check reviews of the place where people actually mention shower quality.
How Much Do Truck Stop Showers Cost?
Truck stop showers range in price from $12-$15 depending on where you go.
That might seem steep, but they are cleaned by a professional crew between each use, generally very spacious (including a separate bathroom), and there are two great ways to save money on truck stop showers:
You can share a shower if you have a travel buddy. And no, you don’t have to shower together, rather you can just ask for extra towels and simply take turns using the truck stop shower with your travel buddy. If your travel buddy is your spouse, many truck stop showers have a separator between the bathroom area and shower meaning you could shower while your spouse is brushing teeth, drying hair, etc.
You can join loyalty programs at truck stops to reduce the cost of a shower. For example, Flying J will give you a half shower credit for every gas fill up you do. If you’re RVing anyway, you’ll need to fill up. May as well do it at Flying J and get a shower discount off it!
How Long Can You Stay In A Truck Stop Shower?
There’s no time limit! At most every truck stop shower (especially the big ones like Love’s, Travel America, and Flying J/Pilot), you can shower for as long as you like.
Just be courteous depending on how busy things are and remember that truckers depend on these showers to stay clean on the road — so you shouldn’t hog the shower if there’s a line!
Are Truck Stop Showers Safe?
Very much so. But you have to keep your wits about you like anywhere else.
The bottom line is that truck stops are very well lit and generally highly trafficked places.
When it comes to a truck stop shower, you’ll be behind a securely locked door with a code or a key that is specific to you.
Any time you stop along the road, it pays to always be looking for anything out of the ordinary and to have some kind of personal protection with you.
That’s true for anywhere you RV though — not just truck stop showers.
What Is Inside A Truck Stop Shower?
Truck stop showers are usually divided into two parts: a bathroom section and a shower section. This spacious set up will allow you ample room to shower and then prepare for your day.
Because they usually come with bathrooms, truck stop showers give you a large, private, and clean space to take care of all your business.
Most truck stop showers also have built in blow dryers and some even have extra amenities like shaving cream and cologne/perfumes for your use.
How To Use A Truck Stop Shower
Using a truck stop shower is very easy to do. Simply go to the front desk at the truck stop and purchase a ticket with a number on it that shows you your place in line.
Then, you’ll simply wait until you see your number appear on a screen by the shower rooms. Once you see your number, you will also see a specific shower room assigned to you.
Oftentimes, there will be an attendant near the shower area who can help direct you to your specific shower.Most truck stop showers these days have doors with a keypad lock.
In these cases, your ticket will have a code on it that’ll open the shower door for you.
Some truck stops still use keys in which case there would be an attendant by the showers to give you a key or direct you to your shower when it is open for you.
What Should I Bring To a Truck Stop Shower?
Truck stop showers will almost always provide towels and will generally provide shampoo/soap.
That said, you can always bring your own towel or soap if you’d prefer to use those.
Apart from these items, here are other things you’ll want to bring to the truck stop shower:
A change of clothes
Shower caddy: Optional, but these baskets can hold all your shower items in one easy-to-carry place)
Sandals or flip flops: Even though truck stop showers are kept exceedingly clean, it’s always a good idea to wear sandals or flip flops while showering.
I’m An RVer — Can I Use Truck Stop Showers?
Yes, absolutely! But you should be aware of some shower etiquette:
Remember that truckers depend on these showers to keep clean on the road and are often on very tight timetables. If the truck stop seems busy, be sure you don’t spend too much time in your shower
Generally, early mornings and later nights are good times where truck stop showers aren’t that busy
Don’t hog the shower — You won’t have a time limit on your shower, so going at off-peak times will allow you more time to enjoy your shower.
Don’t leave your RV parked by the gas pump — This is fairly common sense, but I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen people leaving their vehicle parked and blocking a gas pump for way too long. Don’t let this be you. Move your RV to a clear spot that’s not in anyone’s way before going in for your truck stop shower.
As long as you stick with the above, you’ll be totally welcome as an RVer in a truck stop shower!
And — contrary to some stereotypes — truckers are generally very friendly folks who have fun stories to tell.
If you hang at a truck stop for a shower and a rest, take the chance to get to know a trucker or two and enjoy being part of this special community.
Other Benefits Of Truck Stop Showers
Truck stop showers come with benefits that go beyond getting clean. First, most truck stops will allow you to park for free overnight in a well lit lot that usually has a lot of other truckers around you taking a rest.
Why not shower up after a long drive and rest for the night all in one place?
Second, you can make friends with truckers, people who — despite some popular misconceptions — are generally fun and cool with lots of road stories to tell!
Truck stop showers are a wonderful tool for any RVer — if you know the right ways to find and use them.
Whether you have an RV with a shower and just want to rinse off in a larger space or are travelling in a rig without shower facilities, truck stop showers are an affordable, clean, and safe option for keeping you and yours clean over the road.