Truck Stop showers have come a long way in recent decades and now offer a convenient way to get clean when traveling by RV. Even if you have a built-in shower in your camper, there’s no substitute for unlimited hot water!
When I first went to a truck stop for a shower, I wasn’t sure what to expect. I pictured some big room like in Escape from Alcatraz, where you keep your soap around your neck and one hand ready to defend your honor. Honestly, I thought they were still communal like my old YMCA was.
Like most of my vanlife assumptions, it wasn’t like I’d imagined. As it turns out, you get your own private room that usually has a sink, a toilet, and a shower. There is a bench to set your clothes on and even soap/shampoo dispensers in the shower. They are cleaned after every use (at the reputable chains) and they even give you a fresh towel and facecloth.
Most Love’s and Pilot truck stops have upgraded to an automated reservation system. When you enter the main store, look for the sign for the showers.
There will be a register nearby where you pay ahead for your shower and then your number goes up on the video monitor. It will show an estimate of the time remaining before your shower is available. You also get a paper ticket with a pin code.
Now’s a good time to get your laundry started if your truck stop has a laundromat. There is often food available and I have seen a full deli in some truck stops. You may also see a lounge room with a TV, but be respectful of the truckers. These people are trying to unwind after a stressful day, so leave a chair empty and keep the chatter to a minimum. It goes without saying that you should not bring noisy children into this room When your shower is ready they will announce it over the PA system, in case you aren’t near the monitor. Bring your ticket with the pin number to the room shown on the sign and enter your pin code.
Are you a female traveler? No worries. When I was at a Love’s last month, a female driver booked a shower and another woman came in with her kids. I don’t know their circumstances, but the point is that women are allowed and the doors lock securely. There are usually a lot of people around as well, so I can’t see a cause for concern if you are a woman traveling alone. Crossing the parking lot is probably the riskiest part of the venture.
I find that the Love’s and Pilot chains of truck stops are generally well kept. I wouldn’t eat off the floors, but with a pair of flip-flops it goes pretty smoothly. It’s more expensive ($8-$12) than a campground, but you get generous (often unlimited) time to shower.
Clint’s early truck stop days…
If you are a long-term traveler, consider getting the Love’s Connect app which tells you what facilities each stop has and shows the distance to the next Love’s. I stop at Loves all the time and find their fuel and laundromat prices to be competitive. Not everything is priced competitively though, so you may want to wait for an overnight Walmart stop, to pick up other things.
Thankfully, modern truck stop showers are private and about as nice as a discount hotel. I still bring my soap on a rope, but now it’s just to get clean. Speaking of which, I’m quite happy with the Duke Cannon brand. Smells like the woods and comes with it’s own scrubber and drying bag.
Hey, while you are here at OdysseyCamper.com, why not check out some of our other articles like:
–Darren at Odyssey Camper
Some images courtesy of Loves.com (because I didn’t want to be seen shooting photos around the shower area…)