Truck Driver’s Guide to Showers
It’s not a glamorous life, but there are amenities out there. Some truck drivers still fit the bill of a “dirty old trucker” but with the convenience of showers available at most truck stops and travel centers, there’s little reason not to get cleaned up and look professional.
Where are they?
Travel centers and truck stops dot the highways, from major chains like Love’s and TA, to small independent truck stops, showers are readily available. Some places, like the Road Angel Truck Center located in Illinois at I-70 and US 40, exit 68 (Brownstown exit), offer free showers without any necessary purchase. (They also offer free meals and coffee as part of the Association for Christian Truckers ministry - no, you don’t need to be a Christian to benefit from their warmth and hospitality.)
Who can use them?
Anyone, but they are intended for truckers. Travel centers like Petro and Flying J have multiple showers to accommodate the multitude of truck drivers who pass through each day. In many cases, the wait times are minimal, but you may need to wait your turn. In many locations, there are larger shower areas available for couples who team drive or travel together.
How much do they cost?
Costs to use showers vary by location but you can expect to pay between $12-$15 per shower. Fortunately, showers are not time-limited, but etiquette dictates that you do not waste time and cause unnecessary delays to other drivers.
You can also get showers at no cost if you participate in the various reward programs offered through most major truck stops and travel centers, like Roady’s and Pilot. In most cases, showers are a free perk with a minimum fuel purchase, giving you the confidence that a warm shower is waiting for you at your next fuel stop.
How do you use them?
Truck stops and travel center showers are just like showers at home. You just need to pay for your shower or redeem your shower credits at the service desk, where you will be given a key or a PIN code to enter your designated shower. Once inside, lock the door behind you and you’re good to go.
What’s included in a shower room?
In many cases, today’s travel center showers are clean, sleek, and modern. Though some may still be quite dated, the spaces tend to include your own toilet, shower, sink, and mirror, much like the restroom in your own home or hotel. You will likely find a bench, hooks for clothing and towels, and an empty trash can. Most are also equipped with ventilation to reduce moisture and fogging on the mirrors. Some also include blow dryers.
What should I bring?
Amenities vary by location but generally, they include towels and body wash. Feel free to bring along your own towels, shampoo and conditioner, body wash, facecloth or scrub loofa, and any personal items like a toothbrush and toothpaste, deodorant, razor, and shaving cream. Some locations include hair dryers, but you may want to bring your own along with your own hairbrush. One must-have item is water shoes. While most places do a great job cleaning up their showers, you can avoid any nasty foot fungal infections using water shoes.
Are they safe?
In short, yes. Most truck stops and travel centers offer clean, modern showers and amenities. Once you are inside your shower room, simply lock the door behind you and the space is yours until you leave.