Hobobo Guide to Finding Showers on the Road
Most hobobos know keeping up appearances is important for not actually looking homeless. And there are many advantages to looking presentable, namely not drawing attention to yourself. This enables you to continue exploiting your urban camping skills freely.
So how do you get a cheap or free shower to keep the stink off and prevent your hair from dreading? This depends on how off grid you are. Below are some of the best options we’ve come up with.
Even small towns tend to have public pools with extensive hours and fairly cheap day use fees. Some even have hot tubs and saunas and nearly all have what you’re after, a shower. In our experience a day’s entry to the public pool will usually run you $2-$5.
If you’re on the road and hankering for some exercise and a shower a good option is finding the local gym. A day pass is usually between $5 and $15 will enable you to get some time working out and allow you full use of the facilities including showers.
Large chain gyms even offer free passes to any of their locations for up to 7 days if you sign up online. A little bit of planning will gain you access to exercise equipment and showers for a limited time. You might have to listen to a sales pitch, but maneuvering your way through the process is all part of being a skilled hobobo.
The RV park showers are usually the least expensive and easiest you’ll find. They will range from $2 to $7 and allow you quick and easy access though quality and cleanliness varies widely. Many facilities will also have free wifi and coin-op laundry so you can spend a little time getting things done without much effort.
If you’re covering a lot of ground trying to get to your next destination you’ll likely find yourself passing by some truck stops. While this might seem kind of sketchy I can assure you most showers are clean and acceptable. The price will vary between $7-$15 which is pretty expensive, but there are many reward programs that are free to sign up for.
For example the Flying-J offers a free shower with a 50 gallon fill up. You’re going to be putting gas in the car anyway so this is another way of getting a little back on your costs.
We have found campgrounds to be progressively more expensive these days. If you are camping at Forest Service or BLM campgrounds the services will vary. Some will only have a pit toilet with no water while others can range from full service with showers, general store and places to do your dishes. Of course you will be paying more for the amenities.
If you just need a shower many campgrounds will offer showers a la carte for about $2 to $5 which is pretty affordable.
If you are free camping, chances are you will be isolated enough to take a shower with nature. You don’t really need a solar shower to do this but it makes it more convenient to be sure and will be warmer. A solar shower is usually between $8 and $30 depending on the size and quality.
Ours sprung a leak which makes it a challenge to transport when full. So getting a quality solar shower is worth the investment when you will be spending a lot of time off grid. A 5 gallon solar shower is more than enough for two people to shower. Two could probably manage with a 3 gallon but it would be tight.
If you have any more suggestion about ways to find cheap and free showers while on the road give us your tips in the comments below.