Showering when on the road

I tend to only need to shower a few times a week, so i’ve been able to squeak by with swimming in a body of water, or paying for a shower at a local pool. What about everyone else?

Not always convenient but when I did an extended stay in Southern California during a summer roadtrip I showered at the beach public wash off stations. If you are not afraid of getting judged by beach goers, some Dr. bronners and few minutes under one of those can be life changing after a beach day.

I usually carry a small solar shower with me so if I am staying kinda off the beaten path I can have a shower when I do need it. I just find a branch and tie it up and shower in a bathing suit. I am considering investing in a pop up shower tent also for areas which I want a little more privacy but haven’t committed yet. Otherwise I have found that a stop off in a National Park you can use showers even if you aren’t staying there and worst comes to worst when traveling for lengthy trips I have stopped at a truck stop before and was really shocked at how easy it was.

Most state parks (our preferred camping) have showers. I would recommend carrying shower “shoes”. Other than that, we occasionally stay in a hotel or with friends or just get used to being smelly and dirty (helps with social distancing)!

We added this Nemo Helio Pressure Shower to our solar family last year while traveling in the desert and love it! We’ve probably used it over a hundred times at this point. We can both get a hot satisfying shower in 11 liters of water. We also purchased this privacy tent and haven’t bothered with finding public showers since then.


Planet Fitness worked great for me. Also if you have a minivan and a large water jug you can place it on the raised trunk and shower anywhere!

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Oh I have wondered about this foot pump system… nearly bought one!!! Instead opted for a new rechargeable pump so I will have to let everyone know how that works out soon… Thanks for sharing this one… I am going to vicariously live through you with it!!!

Hi Shari,
For camping showers such as yours do you have to use “clean” water, or is there a way to filter water within the system if you are unsure of your water source?
I have never used one but i could see how handy they would be and curious how they work.


Hi Christina, We almost always use cleanish creek water as we are usually boondocking when we use it. If you need to filter it, just run the water through an old pillow case to get most of the big debris out before putting it in the pressure tank. We’ve probably used this showering device over 100x now and love it! Also, if it’s a colder day and won’t heat in the sun, just boil some of the water and wallahh…it’s shower temperature! Happy camping…

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Does anyone know of any apps or online info for places with public showers?

The Allstays Pro level allows you to filter for all kinds of things when searching, including Showers. (The free version might, too, but I’m not sure.) Unfortunately, they bailed on the Android app a while ago, so you have to use the Apple app or the website (where the database is larger and better anyway).

Many truck stops offer nice shower facilities. It’ll cost you a few bucks, but if you want a shower… We’ve got a camper van, and it is possible to shower in it. Generally, we tend to do the old “helmet bath” to keep the steam & moisture down, or use campground showers; but this is 2020…

We use our Nemo Helio Pressure Shower for most showering needs, but if we want a “real” one, we often will just pay the small fee to get into a state park for the day (some don’t even charge) and use the shower and all of their facilities for the day. It’s been one of the cheapest options for both of us to shower. Another option (post COVID of course) is to buy a day pass at a rec center or YMCA and use their facilities and get a glorious shower! Some YMCA’s also just have a shower fee, often in the $3-5 range.

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For bicyclists

I use a RinseKit portable shower when I don’t have access to a campsite shower.
Their RinseKit PRO model is exceptional, it’s pressurized by a 12v battery, so the pressure is much better than a foot pump or some of the other portable showers. It also has more capacity than most portable showers at 3.5 gallons. Plus, you can use the built in 12v battery to charge devices. Highly suggested.