Truck stop showers can be mystery if you have never used one and have no idea what you need to bring with you.
In this article I’m going to tell you what you need to pack in your shower bag so that you can get the best out of your shower and not worry about the unexpected.
First thing: Semi trucks don’t have showers. Actually, there are some rare/exotic semi trucks that do have showers but they are less than 0.5% (I made up that statistic, it’s probably less though) of the semi trucks you see driving around.
The large area you see behind the driver seat is called the sleeper berth because it is where the truck driver sleeps. No shower though.
Below is a picture of a typical sleeper berth so you can get an idea of what it actually looks like. In the first picture I highlighted (in red) which part of the truck is the sleeper berth. The second picture shows what it looks like behind the driver’s seat. You can see the bed mattress and some storage space to the side of it. Notice there is no room, or plumbing for a shower or even a sink.
Where Do Truck Drivers Shower?
Truck drivers shower at truck stops. Truck stops is where most shower at because no one wants to spend money staying at a motel. If a trucker driver was to stay at a motel just a few times a week he/she would be wasting a lot of money.
It’s just more efficient to sleep in the trucks sleeper berth and in the morning head into the truck stop to clean up. Get cleaned up, finish the pre-trip inspection, eat something, and hit the road.
How Much Does A Shower Cost?
The showers at truck stops are usually free is you fill up your truck with a specific amount of deisel fuel.
The truck driver gets a fuel/reward card and every time you get fuel you receive shower credits. Once you have enough credits you can take a free shower. Most larger truck stops have the same process.
Shower credits do expire though, they are usually good for 7 days or so, depending on the truck stop of course.
There is an option to pay for a shower too, it is usually around $10.00 per shower. Most truck drivers get their showers by acquiring shower credits when fueling though. To pay for a shower is a waste of money for most drivers unless it is absolutely necessary.
Also, there are some trucking companies that will reimburse their drivers for showers and some will even offer free showers. The free showers are usually limited to specific truck stops. It’s not always possible that the driver is near the specific truck stop in order to get the free shower though so it’s not always possible.
What Does A Truck Stop Shower Look Like?
Well, this is a tricky question to answer because truck stop showers range from really nasty to surprisingly clean and updated. It all depends on the truck stop.
Over time truckers will figure out which stops have clean showers and which don’t. There was a time when they were usually always community showers where you would have to take a shower
with other people right next to you. Showers these days, especially at larger chain truck stops like Loves and Pilot, are much cleaner.
Truck stop showers these days are usually private shower rooms that also has a toilet and sink. Basically, you have the shower stall to yourself. Nice!
The following pictures I took at a Pilot truck stop in New Mexico. Granted, this shower room is one of the cleaner ones out there but this is pretty typical at the bigger truck stops like
Pilot and Loves. Notice that you are able to lock the door and have the room all to your self.
There are a lot of truck stop showers that are surprisingly nice. They have high quality towels, updated facilities, new shower heads, and are clean. Don’t get me wrong, there are a lot of
truck stop showers that are a disaster too. In time you will figure out which ones are okay to use and which you should avoid.
Be careful, there are some things you should do/have with you when you enter a shower regardless of how clean it is.
Keep reading to find out what you need to bring with you.
Truck Stop Showering Tips And What To Bring With You
These are the truck stop showering tips that will prepare you for anything. Much of it is just common sense, bring with you exactly what you would use at home when showering.
There are a few things though that you will need just for truck stop showers, let’s take a look.
Get a bag just for showering: Don’t use a plastic bag from Walmart. Get yourself a bag that has pockets and a wide opening so you can fit everything inside of it. A gym bag or something similar will work well.
Flip flops or shower shoes: Cover your feet so you don’t end up with a nasty fungus. To do this you can get some cheap flip flops or you spend a little more and buy some shower sandals like these. Personally, I like the shower sandals because flip flops tend to be slippery and difficult to walk through a dirty parking lot with.
Shower sandals are more sturdy and will give you much better traction so you don’t slip and fall. One more thing, wear you shower sandals while in the shower. Don’t take them off and walk around the shower stall.
Shampoo and soap: One thing about soap and shampoo. Put them in a separate plastic bag that you are able to seal before putting them into your shower bag. Trust me, shampoo will at some point leak and if you don’t have it in a plastic bag it’s going to get all over everything else in your shower bag.
Clorox wipes: Wipes are needed to quickly clean off counter tops and handles. I’m probably going overboard with this but for me it’s important to know that what I am touching is clean.
Towel: Bring your own towel. A lot of truck stops these days will have towels for you to use but I always like to bring my own because I know it is clean.
Small shower bag that hangs for hygiene items: A small shower bag like this one on Amazon will work wonders. Inside of it you can put your toothpaste, deodorant, floss, cotton swabs, comb/brush, makeup, mouth rinse, nail clippers, lotion, razor, gel, and anything else that you might need.
What I like about using one of these is you can hang it on a hanger and have access to everything you need. No need to put the bag on a dirty counter now that you can hang it on a hook inside the shower stall.
Bag for dirty clothing: A plastic bag will do. Once you have a lot of it you can wash it all at once.
Change of clothes: Don’t forget to put your clean cloths in your bag so you aren’t stuck putting back on the dirty cloths you were wearing. Trust me, it happens!
Baby wipes or dude wipes: Baby wipes work great for those times when you don’t have time to shower or don’t want to.
Another option that I like better is to get DUDE Shower Wipes. These wipes were suggested to me by a friend and I really like them. They are oversized wipes that you can use all over your body and throw away. A great option if you need to quickly clean up and get back on the road.
Hair dryer: A small hair dryer like this one (Amazon link) come in handy when you are at a stop that doesn’t provide one. Nothing worse than heading back to your truck with wet/moist hair when it’s cold outside.