Car Road Trip

Where To Shower On The Road (Cheap Places & Free Shower Facilities)

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Last Updated on October 24, 2022 by Rose Morah

Wondering where to shower on the road when going on an extended road trip?

Sometimes it’s hard to find a place to take a quick shower on the road when going on a long road trip.

In this article, we will be discussing some of the best places to find a shower and how to maintain personal hygiene while on the road.

Personally, whenever I go on long road trips, most of the time I will sleep in the car because it is the most convenient, of course depending on the situation that I’m in.

I have hence discovered many places to shower on the road over the years no matter where I find myself.

The following are places to shower on the road:

1. At a truck stop

I have showered at truck stops many times before and would recommend it to anyone who needs a place to shower.

You don’t have to be a truck driver to shower at truck stops, anyone can.

Personally, I prefer showering at Loves and Flying J whenever I need to shower at a truck stop.

But I prefer Loves more because I have their app, which I use to check in whenever I need to shower. This way I don’t have to stand in lines. 

And when it’s my time to shower, the app will notify me. So, I just go in and shower.

What to expect when you go to shower at a truck stop?

  • You get hot showers.
  • Most have no time limit (I have never found one with a time limit).
  • Most truck stops provide towels that are bleached after use. But, if you want you can carry your own towel. 
  • Most truck stops will not provide you with soap, shampoo e.t.c, you will need to bring your own.

However, some truck stops will give you a little hotel bar-size soap or will have a soap dispenser on the wall for use.

  • Some truck stops will have a coin-operated dryer and washer that you can use.
  • If you are a couple, you can use the same shower when showering at the truck stop. It’s usually not a problem at most truck stops.

Additionally, you can ask for a co-driver shower or a team shower and it won’t cost you more either.

Related:

Read This Before Sleeping In A Car At A Truck Stop.

13 Best Ways To Shower When Camping (For All Types Of Campers).

How much will you pay to shower at truck stops?

You will mostly pay between $8 to $12 to shower, depending on the truck stop and location.

Can you shower for free at truck stops?

Yes. Most truck stops have reward cards that accumulate points whenever you swipe for fuel and are redeemable for free showers. 

A few good examples of such truck stops include Loves, Petro/TA, and Flying J/Pilot. If you buy 50 gallons at Loves and 60 gallons at Petro/TA you get a free shower.

NOTE: The free shower credits do expire. So, make sure you check the expiration dates or how many days it will take to expire.

But I have seen people who have showered for free by just showing their fuel receipt within the last 2 days and no one verified the amount of fuel.

I have also seen some people requesting truck drivers to offer them their free shower credits and they were happy to share them for free.

This is because truck drivers normally have more shower credits.

2. At the gym

There are so many people, especially the frequent road trippers, who shower at the gym because it is usually a cheaper alternative.

For instance, a few years back we were on a road trip with friends and needed a place to shower on the road. 

The town we were in had a gym that charged us $2 for showers. However, they told us that the $2 was when you needed to shower during the off hours. Otherwise, if it was during peak hours, it would have been $4.

That was a better deal than showering at a truck stop! I’d recommend it if you’re on a really tight budget and can’t find free shower facilities.

I’d recommend you get a planet fitness membership that is about $20 per month if you want a place where you can shower for a longer period.

Planet fitness can be found in so many locations and is open 24/7. You can shower, use wifi, watch TV and drink coffee e.t.c.

See also: How To Plan A Road Trip On A Budget.

3. At aquatic centers

Pool/recreation centers are other great alternatives to consider when you are looking for places to shower on the road.

In some public pools, you are allowed to shower for free, especially when you tell them that you are just passing through town.

You can also go, have a swim and take a nice shower after.

4. At campgrounds/parks

In most campgrounds and state parks that have showers, you will have to pay a fee to shower if you are not camping.

I’d recommend KOA campgrounds if you are looking for cheap or free campground showers.

Many of them either provide free showers or you only have to pay $3 to shower.

See also:

13 Best Ways To Shower When Camping (For All Types Of Campers).

15 Best Portable Showers for Camping (Must-Have Accessories).

5. Beach showers

If you happen to be touring along the coastline, public beach showers can be a great option.

Though they might be free, they may also not be warm. 

The last time we were camping in our car in San Diego, free beach showers became our norm!

6. Church shower ministries

In some cities, some churches have shower ministries that allow the public to use their showers as part of their outreach program.

Personally, I haven’t tried this option but it came in highly recommended by other road trippers who have used it. This is definitely an option to consider the next time I’m on the road with no place to shower. 

7. At hostels

Most hostels will allow you to use their showers for a small fee even when you are not sleeping at the hostel.

Most of them will not charge more than $4 to shower.

Therefore, this can be a great option if you are looking for a cheap place to shower on the road. The good thing is that hostels are everywhere.

8. Set up the shower

You don’t always have to look for a place to shower if you have a van.

You can easily and cheaply set up a shower that will serve you during the trip.

When I was camping in the van, I had a camping shower that I had bought for about $10 and would leave it to heat up in the sun. I remember it used very little water.

If your van is a low top, you can shower while seated. If it’s a high top or pops up then you have the advantage of showering while standing.

Wondering how you can shower in the van?

Personally, I installed a shower tray in the van. A bucket shower (bucket and sponge) is also another great alternative. I’d recommend you watch online videos for better ideas of how to shower in the van.

In the end, you will stay clean even when you do not have access to showers.

See also: Pros and Cons of Hardshell Rooftop Tent (Buyers Guide).

9. At homeless shelters

You will be surprised how clean some of these shelters are.

However, you may also come across some people here who will yell at you for no reason. Others may be violent.

But this doesn’t mean that they all behave the same way. Some are striving to escape the difficult situation as they actively work extra hard for a better future.

10. In the wilderness/outside

Depending on where you are, you can also shower outside.

However, this option may not apply if you are touring big cities.

See also: 15 Wilderness Survival Gear and Equipment (Best Survival Gear).

11. Use wet wipes and dry shampoo

If you can’t find a place to shower, you can also use wet wipes and no-rinse shampoo (dry shampoo) for your hair.

This can be a great way of maintaining proper hygiene on the road, especially if you are feeling dirty or sweaty.

Final Word

Having a full shower kit that includes, towel, washcloth, soap, and shower shoes or flip-flops, is always a good idea.

If you are going to shower in public showers, shower shoes are a must-have!

I’d also highly recommend you get a shower towel that dries fast. Otherwise, the normal towel will be damp after use and will likely start to mildew and smell bad.

Hello there! My name is Rose. I’m passionate about electric cars and clean energy. My adventurous spirit and journalistic pursuits make each day fascinating and far greater. I consider traveling not just about the grandeur moments, but the little elements that transform the whole experience.