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Whether your a pro driver or a traveler, there comes a time when you just want to get cleaned up. Can anyone use truck stop showers? Here’s what you need to know.
Can anyone use truck stop showers?
Unless otherwise specified by the truck stop, showering facilities are open to the public for anyone to use.
The Skinny on Truck Stop Showers
It’s also mentioned in this article, but anyone can shower at truck stops even if you’re not behind the wheel of a commercial vehicle. However, you have to follow some rules and pay for your time in the facility.
Keep this in mind;
Most shower facilities at service stations are not guarded 24/7 by a security guard or any personnel. Still, you should show etiquette when you are going to use one, which is discussed in detail in the second section.
For the most part, (but not always) truck stop shower facilities are typically replenished and cleaned after every use.
But remember that how often these showers are cleaned will depend on the particular trucks stops staffing levels and how busy they are.
Most facilities have shower suites, which are like private bathrooms. Even though using shower suites is more expensive than your everyday truck stop showers, they are perfect for couples who like to travel.
In the following sections, you are going to know truck stop showering costs, tips, and etiquette.
Knowing about these things will help you avoid problems at any service station.
Truck Stop Etiquette
Long-time commercial vehicle drivers have been complaining about the poor behavior of the younger generation and less experienced drivers.
Don’t be like them.
Treat other people as how you want them to treat you.
When you plan to park or have a shower at a truck stop, don’t give exhausted drivers a headache.
Those guys have been on the road for days working.
Always keep the following rules in mind:
1) Don’t give anyone the me-first attitude. Fall in line and wait for your turn.
2) Pay honestly.
3) Stay out of the trucks’ way. This is the most important rule at truck service stations, because the drivers can’t always see you. They don’t have the maneuverability to just get out of the way.
4) Do not block the lanes where the trucks will drive on. These parking spaces are clearly designed for commercial vehicles.
5) Park your vehicle first before taking a shower. It seems simple enough, but some people will park just about anywhere.
6) Don’t throw your urine bottles on the parking lot. Dispose its content in the restroom. Flush your urine down a toilet, and wash the bottles before going out.
Urine bottles are a biohazard and should be treated as hazardous.
7) Dispose of things like toilet paper and wipes properly. Don’t flush them down a toilet or leave them on the floor of a restroom. Treat truck stop showers as you treat your own bathroom.
8) Do not park on designated spaces for tractors and ten wheeler trucks if you’re not driving one.
9) When you are looking for a spot to park, don’t drive too fast. Many truckers own pets. Pets may wander away from their owners.
10) It is best to fuel up first before parking.
11) Do not walk around on any station without a shirt.
12) Help other drivers when they need a hand.
Things to Bring in Truck Stop Showers
Not all service stations for truck drivers are the same. Although there are some that offer free toiletries, you should still bring your own articles for personal hygiene.
The following are the things you need to bring when you want to take a shower at a truck stop, camp ground or other public facility.
- Thong sandals or shower sandals
If you’ve served in the military, this is a no brainer.
During winter, fungus like ringworm is transmitted easily. Ringworm or tinea can cause Athlete’s foot and ringworm of the body.
Depending on the type of infection, tinea can be hard to treat.
Cover your feet with thong sandals or shower sandals so that you won’t get a skin infection. Whenever I shower at a campground or other public place while traveling, I prefer shower sandals because thong slippers tend to be slippery when wet.
Shower sandals are also sturdier so they last longer than thong sandals.
- Soap and Shampoo
Put your soap and shampoo in a ziplock before putting them in your shower bag.
Shampoos can create stains on your clothes.
Also, if you keep a pet in your truck, you must separate its shampoo or soap from your toiletries.
Pets are suitable carriers and hosts of certain parasites and fungi. In addition, some products for humans can also cause allergic reactions to pets.
For example, Permethrin, a substance that can be found in human antibacterial shampoo, can make your cat have seizures.
- Small Shower Bag
In addition to your shampoo bottle and soap, you should also prepare other toiletries in a small shower bag or toiletry bag.
- Clorox Wipes
You can use Clorox wipes to clean door handles, knobs, and countertops.
As stated earlier, most shower stalls in truck stops are cleaned after every use.
However, you can’t be too careful. Don’t take risks when it comes to your health.
Towels are personal items. So, bring your own when you want to take a shower at any service station.
You will never know whether the person who use the shower before you has a contagious disease or none.
- A bag that is ideal for all your toiletries and showering
Don’t just use a plastic bag to carry your personal things with you. Buy a waterproof bag with a wide opening and side pockets. A gym bag is a good example.
Don’t wear dirty clothes. Driving for hours makes you dirtier and more susceptible to diseases than when you are at home. So, bring a set of clean clothes with you whenever you shower.
- Tissues and Baby wipes
You can use tissues, baby wipes, or dude wipes when you don’t have time to take a shower.
- Hair Dryer
During the cold season, a hair dryer can come in handy. During winter, refrain from walking around the parking lot with moist/wet hair.
Truck Stop Shower Cost
Showering facilities for truck stops will run a range from around $7-$10 and will depend on which facility you’re at. You can see a price list here.
If you fill up with a specific amount of diesel fuel, showering at specific truck stops will be free.
Every time you pay for fuel at specific service stations like Love’s Travel Stops, you receive fuel, food, or shower credits.
You should get a reward card from your favorite truck stops, so you can shower for free. Popular service stations often offer a reward program.
When you have enough credits, you can take a shower for free on any of the service stations of your preferred truck stop chain.
However, reward cards expire after a specific amount of time. Usually, they expire after seven days.
If you don’t have a reward card, the cost for showering is usually $10.00 per hour.
Some establishments offer free showers even if you don’t have a reward card.
But, you can expect that their facilities are poorly maintained and are often left uncleaned for days.
Lastly, most truck stop showers only allow customers for 30-45 minutes. And, you have to add $2 if you want to wash your clothes or give your pet a bath.
Summing it up…
Can anyone use truck stop showers? It’s really not a problem for anyone to use them. Just like any other service, you make your purchase and your allowed to use it just like anyone else.
If you’re a regular traveler you may want to spend some time and check out the major truck stop chains (you can search here) and get idea of where they’re and what they have available.
In addition, many of these chains have rewards programs that you can sign up for, so if you are a regular you can save a little cash.
Just remember that if your going to use a truck stop shower, that you make sure have all the necessary toiletry items, specifically shower shoes (can’t stress that enough).
Then there’s this- the newer the truck stop, the nicer the shower. Over time, truck stops have made their showering facilities a lot nicer to cater to professional truck drivers.
Don’t forget to wash behind your ears!