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20+ Places To Shower On The Road (+ Helpful Resources)

Embracing life on the open road is an adventure like no other, but every traveler knows the importance of staying refreshed. Whether you’re a seasoned van lifer, a road-tripping enthusiast, or simply seeking tips for your next journey, finding places to shower on the road is nearly essential.

Photo by Chandler Cruttenden on Unsplash

To be honest, one of the most frequently asked questions in vanlife, other than where do you go to the bathroom, is where do you shower? And the real answer is, you don’t! Well, you certainly don’t shower as much as you would if you lived in a traditional house. Jake and I have gotten it down to about 1 shower per week, unless we are lucky and have access to a free shower.

In this guide, we’ll unveil the secrets and strategies for staying clean and revitalized while traveling. From campsite facilities to creative hacks and portable shower solutions, we’ve got you covered.

This post may contain affiliate links. Disclosure policy.

Campgrounds & RV Parks:

campgrounds are one of the best places to shower on the road

Campgrounds are probably the most common places to shower on the road. Plus it can also double as a place to park for the night. But do your research, because not all campgrounds have showers.

You also don’t always have to stay at the campground to use their facilities. Call the campground ahead of time to ask if they allow walk-in showers. To use the showers, it usually costs a small fee or is coin-operated. Do note, sometimes the coin operated showers do have a time-limit.

Campgrounds aren’t always the cleanest and most reliable for hot water but we usually look through other people’s reviews online and gauge if we want to shower there or not.

Rec Centers:

Another popular place to shower on the road while traveling is at Recreation Centers (sometimes referred to as community centers). Most rec centers have showers, especially if they have swimming pools. But the showers are often community showers, so you don’t have a personal stall.

It’s common to have to purchase a day pass when showering at a rec center. Which can be an added perk, so you can also get in a quick workout or go for a swim in their public pool.

A common rec center is the YMCA which has locations all over the country.

Gym Membership:

a stack of weights, referring to a gym memberships which are one of the best places to shower on the road
Photos By Danielle Cerullo on Unsplash

For vanlifers that often find themselves in cities or at least passing through cities often, might consider a gym membership. One of the most popular gyms is Planet Fitness with locations all over the country. Plus a Planet Fitness membership monthly pass starts as low as $10 per month. Which is sometimes what you pay for one shower at a campground, so it can be a huge money saver if you are able to use the membership often! Plus they also often come with a free day pass that you can extend to a buddy (which can also just be your significant other).

Other popular gyms with locations all over the country are 24-hour Fitness, Lifetime Fitness, etc. Or if you stay pretty stationary in vanlife, you can choose a local gym.

National Parks or State Parks:

A view down the Zion National Park valley from Angel's Landing Trail which is one of the best hikes in utah

If you are anything like us when traveling full-time on the road, then I’m sure you are visiting National Parks often. A good amount of National Parks or State Parks have a public bathhouse or general store offering coin-operated showers to visitors.

But because it is a tourist attraction, National Park showers tend to be a little bit more expensive and can be pretty popular. 

Truck Stops:

a car parked at a Truck stop, which are one of the easiest places to shower on the road
Photo by Jean-christophe Gougeon on Unsplash

Truck stops are one of the most common places to shower for, you guessed it, trucker drivers! But they are still available to tourists. Plus there are locations along most major highways.

Truck Stop showers tend to be pretty pricey, and it’s common to have to wait in line for multiple other people in front of you. They give you a number and will call it out when it’s your time to go.

Truck stop showers used to be community-style showers, but the style is changing to individual shower stalls. If you are a trucker, then you get credit toward these showers from buying gas at their station and probably know more about them than me.

But if you are just traveling on the road in an RV or camper van then the average cost is around $10 per shower, but can sometimes reach as high as $20+ per shower. 

Just like other places on the list, it is hard to tell if a shower is going to be clean or not. One rule to follow is if the gas station is newer, then the showers are likely newer, and vice versa.


Hostels are a perfect place for how to find showers on the road
Photo by Nicate Lee on Unsplash

Hostels are another great way to find showers on the road. Most of the time hostels will have showers and you can pay for a shower without staying overnight. But it’s best to call ahead to double-check. They can be hit or miss on cleanliness, but sometimes a shower is better than no shower!

And because hostels are “cheaper” places to stay, showers are pretty inexpensive. Our favorite hostel was in Vail, CO and it cost $5, was super clean, untimed, and had endless hot water! Plus you might meet some interesting people from around the world.

Family/Friends House:

The best option and most budget-friendly places to shower on the road is at a friend or family members house. Plus, this is often a great place to regroup on all things #vanlife. Such as do laundry, deep clean your van, get a nice home-cooked meal, etc. And the obvious BONUS, you get to catch up with your family and/or friends (assuming you like them)!

So this is our personal favorite way to shower while living on the road. 

Public Beaches:

a group of surfers showering off at sunset, which is often one of the places to shower that is overlooked when traveling on the road.
Photo by Zoltan Tasi on Unsplash

A place to shower that is commonly overlooked is beach showers. Of course if you are a surfer, then you know all about this option. Beaches tend to have free public showers along the ocean or lake beach fronts.

It’s where people typically wash off the salt water or sand that is stuck in places it shouldn’t be. But you could always use it as a “real” shower. Do keep in mind, these showers tend to be in public places, so keep your bathing suit on please! 🙂

One negative of using a beach shower is they tend to have cold water. But on a warm day, it could be refreshing and save money in your wallet!

Natural Water Source:

Emily washing her hair in Lake Powell with Bio-Degradable Soap which is such an easy way to shower on the road
Emily washing her hair in Lake Powell with Bio-Degradable Soap

Another great place to shower and freshen up while living on the road is bathing in a body of water such as lakes, ponds, rivers, creeks, etc. The cleanliness of the water can differ, but it can sometimes be better than no shower.

Be sure to use biodegradable soaps, shampoos & conditioners if you are going to bathe in a natural water source.

Community Swimming Pools:

community swimming pool, which is often a good place to shower while on the road
Photo by Joe Pizzio on Unsplash

A decent option for a shower on the road is to visit a local community swimming pool in the area you are traveling. They will likely have places to shower for guests to clean off after hitting the pool. And of course an added bonus is you can hang at the pool for the day before showering. Well maybe do a pre-rinse before getting it and then finish afterwards with your full-blown shower!

Entrance fees are usually $10+ for day use at the local community swimming pool.

Boat Marinas:

Similarly to #vanlife, there are also many people who live on boats as well. Therefore, boat marinas tend to have public showers for a small fee.

Hotels With Pools:

emily enjoying a pool, which has attached shower so she can take a shower before getting back on the road

One of the more unique places to shower in vanlife is to find hotels with pools. Sometimes you can visit a hotel pool for a small fee and they will have public showers for guests to use. This option is fun, because you can use their pool or hot tub before showering.

Water Parks:

a kid sliding down a waterpark slide, which is a great place to shower on the road and have a little added fun
Photo by Visit Qatar on Unsplash

Probably the most fun way to shower on the road is to hit up a water park. But of course, this is not the cheapest places to shower, but can certainly be the most fun! Use websites like Viator, Get Your Guide, or Groupon to find good deals on a water park experience near you.


While not very common, you can sometimes score a shower at the airport. It’s more common to find a shower if you have lounge access.

For example, Jake and I have the Capital One Venture X which includes a complimentary Priority Pass. This allows us to get into various different lounges around the world. Not all lounges have showers, but some nicer lounges now do.


Again, this is certainly not the cheapest place to shower on the road, but maybe it’s time to pamper yourself. You can search online for spas nearby and maybe see if they are running a deal, or use an app like groupon.

Showers in Spa facilities will likely be some of the nicest showers you will encounter on the road. You may not even need to bring you own towel or toiletries, as they often have it available for their guests.

Hot Springs:

emily sitting in a hot spring in colorado, which can also double as one of the best places to shower on the road

If you find yourself traveling in the western part of the U.S., then there is an abundance of hot spring locations around the country. Do note there are both public and private hot springs. Therefore, if you are looking for some hot springs with shower facilities, you will likely need to find some private hot springs that are managed by a company.

The best way to find hot springs near you is to type Hot Springs Near Me into Google Maps. If a list of hot springs comes up, see if any are managed by a company and read the reviews or call the business to see if they have shower facilities.


Although rare, sometimes laundromats will have showers attached. And to be honest this is a great combo for anyone living on the road. The best way to find these are by using the iOverlander App or the Showers Directory (more details about these below).


If you are desperate for a real shower but can not find any showers on this list above, then you may resort to a motel. Motels tend to be cheaper accommodations sometimes as low as 35+.

Therefore, you will have a place to stay for the night, a shower, and a place to park your van for the night. But, with most things, the cheaper it is, you get what you pay for. (Learn a few showering tips and tricks below to freshen up without a shower)!

Splurge On A Hotel or Vacation Rental:

an aerial view of a hotel with a pool in the middle with greenery surrounding the square of buildings

Lastly, a nice place to shower is at a hotel or vacation home. This is one of our favorite places to shower on the road, but it is certainly one of the most expensive options. But sometimes you just need to recharge outside of the van and inside a home.

Plus this can also be a nice reset for doing laundry, deep-cleaning your van, doing any chores you’ve been putting off, and maybe to use an oven if you don’t have one of those it your campervan.

You can also use credit card points instead of paying cash to cover the cost!

Using A Portable Shower:

Probably one of the best places to shower on the road is right from your campervan. There are a few different options for portable showers which we will share below.

Solar Shower:

Emily showering outside our van with a solar shower

One shower that is great for warm weather is the Advanced Element Solar Shower. We have the 5-gallon shower and it gets Jake and me around 3 showers each (we are pretty conservative with the water useage).

Simply place the shower in the sun and let it heat up from the solar rays. Timing to heat up the solar shower depends on the outside temperature and how directly the sun is hitting the bag. There is a temperature gauge on the front which is very helpful in getting it to the perfect temperature. But beware, it can get extremely hot, almost too hot to use! 

Helpful Tips: If you are in a pinch for time and want hot water, you can boil water and add it to the mix to heat it up faster. Or if it ever gets too hot, you can mix in cold water or ice cubes.

Check out our review of the Advanced Element Summer Solar Shower. 

Do Solar Showers Actually Work? | Advanced Elements Solar Shower Review

Pressurized Shower:

Nemo Heilo Pressurized Shower

If you are looking into a portable shower that best simulates a real shower then the Nemo Helio Pressurized Shower is a great option for you. We have looked into upgrading to this next, but so far our solar shower has treated us well!

The Nemo Helio is a little bit more expensive, but it can make showering a lot easier. It also heats up by the sun and can get you a high-pressure shower for up to 7-10 minutes. The nozzle allows you to keep the water continuously running or you can use the knob to only use the water when you want to spray water.

Here are also tons of other great portable shower options that we recommend!

Water Bottle Shower:

Now, this is the classiest of ways to shower. As stated in the title you basically fill up a water bottle and try to use the water sparingly while you wash your hair and body. It’s not the easiest or most efficient, but sometimes it gets the job done!

Sink Shower:

Because we live in a camper van, we have the “luxury” of using our running water. Whenever I am in a pinch and feel like I need to freshen up, I use our sink. I have washed my hair a handful of times and shaved my legs in there and it has works great.

Hygiene Wipes:

Good Wipes are one of the bests way to stay clean between finding showers on the road
Emily cleaning her feet with Good Wipes

Using hygiene wipes is a super-easy way to stay freshened up while living on the road. And to be honest, I think it works fine for those days you really should get a shower in but want to hold off for another day or two.

Our favorite body wipes are Good Wipes. They are 100% biodegradable, plant-based, hypoallergenic, pH-balanced, toxin and dye-free, the list goes on…

Apps To Help You Find Places To Shower On The Road


An app that we find very useful while traveling on the road is iOverlander. It’s an app where people can pin where they have been and leave a review for the facility. It is super helpful when you are in an unfamiliar place and need to find showers, campsites, laundry, water fill-ups, etc.

Similar apps are Sekr, Campendium, The Dyrt, etc.

Another resource you might find helpful is the Public Shower Directory. Basically you can narrow down the showers by state, and choose a nearby city.

Takeaway For The Best Places To Shower On The Road:

Finding showers on the road is actually pretty easy. We try to go longer without showers to save money and we supplement showers with hygiene wipes or swimming in large bodies of water. If we ever feel dirty then we prioritize and find a shower. It is really up to you how often you want to shower and how much money you want to spend to stay clean! 

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