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Truck Stop Showers | 2020 Guide for Non-Truckers

If you’ve had a long travel day, truck stop showers can be key to maintaining your sanity (and cleanliness). Unfortunately, many non-trucking travelers don’t know this shower option exists.

Today we’re here to give you a complete overview of truck stop showers. We’re answering the what, when, where, how and why – in hopes to make your long haul days much more enjoyable.

If you’d rather watch a video – you can see our “How to Take a Truck Stop Shower” video below. It doesn’t go into as much detail, but its a great starting point!

Let’s dive in!

Where Can I Take a Truck Stop Show?

Obviously, these showers are located at truck stops…but do all truck stops have showers? The quick answer is no. However, there are a few major chains that provide showers at most locations.

Let’s take a look at the specific chains and what they have to say about the showers.

Pilot & Flying J

Pilot and Flying J truck stops are managed by the same operator. We’re excited to report they’ve recently taken big steps in upgrading their shower facilities across the country.

The showering experience at these truck stops have proven to be much more inline with a luxury hotel shower. Here’s what they have to say about the upgrades:

We recently increased our towels in size, quality and thickness — for an overall enhanced showering experience. Tile from Sassuolo, Italy is traditionally reserved for luxury hotel chains, but we know our showers are more than worthy. Visit our restrooms and look for these tiles as accents on the vanity walls. – Pilot Flying J Website

Love’s Travel Stops

Love’s is another great choice for truck stop showers. But, you must be observant of what type of Love’s you visit for a shower. They have a limited-service gas station line called Love’s Country Stores – these don’t usually have showers on site.

However, their flagship truck stop is great for showering. Like Pilot Flying J, they focus on a luxury experience.

Love’s has implemented an automated shower system that gives you a code for entry. This makes it easy to take a shower and be on your way – not having to hassle with lines or employees.

TravelCenters of America

TravelCenters of America rounds out the “Big 3” of nationwide truck stops. While their showers are good quality, they pride themselves in cleanliness rather than luxury.

Here’s what TA has to say about the shower experience:

Every shower is sanitized by our dedicated porters—our Dream Team of Clean—before every use and includes two freshly-laundered, trucker-sized towels, a bath mat and washcloth, liquid and bar soap, a wall-mounted oscillating fan and a hairdryer.

Independent Truck Stops

As you’re driving on the interstate, you’ll see many independently operated truck stops. These are a total wildcard when it comes to shower standards.

Some are amazing, and some are the backdrop of horror films! If you have no other option, they’re worth a try. But, we recommend a major chain over the independent truck stops.

How Much Do Truck Stop Showers Cost?

While there’s no flat rate for the price of showers across the USA, you can expect to pay $10-$17 per shower. Don’t let that worry you – there are many ways to cut that price in half (or better still get it for free)

Sharing A Shower

You may share a shower at all major truck stops. We don’t suggest finding a rando to share it with…but, if you have a travel partner, it’ll cut the price in half.

You don’t have to be in the bathroom together. Depending on the relationship you have with your travel buddy, you can take turns or bathe at the same time.

Simply ask for extra towels and you’ll be good to go!

Loyalty Programs

All major truck stop chains offer loyalty programs. However, Love’s only offers shower credit for professional truck drivers. Pilot Flying J has a few workarounds for gas-vehicle travelers.

We’re part of the Pilot Flying J program and earn half a shower credit with every gas tank fill up. It’s easy to earn a free shower after one long travel day.

Are Truck Stop Showers Clean
Are Truck Stop Showers Clean

What Do I Need to Bring to a Truck Stop Shower?

So, you’ve decided to give truck stop showers a try…but, what do you need to bring? Technically, nothing. The showers do provide soap, towels and washcloths. Nevertheless, we recommend coming prepared.

  • Bring your own towel. Not essential, but you’ll know its clean.
  • Change of clothes – obvious, but important to remember.
  • Shampoo & soap – Again, not required, just preferred.
  • Sandals / Shower Shoes – keep your feet clean!
  • Two bags – one for your clothes and one for your toiletries.

It may feel weird walking into a truck stop gas station with a bathroom bag – don’t let it bother you! Quite often there’s a side door near the showers. Scope out the truck stop before you carry everything inside.

Truck Stop Shower Etiquette for Non-Truckers

Please read this section carefully! Truck stop showers are made for truckers. Their full time job is to drive long hours for weeks at a time. These showers are their lifeline to staying fresh.

Below you’ll find a few rules we follow as non-trucking shower takers.

  • If there’s a long line, leave and come back later. The truckers are often on a tight schedule. We don’t want to make their job any harder.
  • Be kind, not intimidated. Truckers are regular folks, working for a living. They aren’t the stereotype so often seen on TV or in the movies. Be courteous and nice.
  • Don’t hog the shower. There are no time limits on your paid shower. However, if there is a line, be efficient with your shower use.
  • Don’t park at a pump. It should be common sense, but bears mentioning.

Truck Stop Shower Etiquette

Truck Stop Shower Tips for Non-Truckers

Now that you know where and how to take a shower, here are a few addition tips that might be helpful.

  • Use the AllStays app to locate truck stops along the interstate.
  • If you’re tired, many of these truck stops allow overnight parking. Get a shower and a nights rest all at one place.
  • Late night and early morning seem to be the best time to find an open shower with no line.
  • Make friends with a trucker – they usually have more free showers on their loyalty card than they can use. Sometimes they’ll give free showers to others!

The Best FREE Camping in the USA

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If you haven’t tried free camping before, also known as boondocking, take a look at our beginners guide to boondocking filled with everything you need to know to get started.

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1 Comment

  1. I’ve never had to shower at a truck stop and probably never will. It’s not that they’re bad, they’re just overpriced. If I’m going to spend $7-12, I usually go to the local community or aquatics center. That way you get to use all the amenities as well.

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