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10 Secrets To Using Campground Bathhouses

This post was updated on March 15th, 2024

Staying in campgrounds on a regular basis means you will probably end up using the bathhouses at some point. In fact, many RVers use the campground bathrooms almost exclusively, appreciating the roomy showers and ample hot water they so often provide.

That said, there are some things that are less appealing about community showers. Dirty floors, long wait times, and the inconvenience of hiking to the bathhouse can turn a person away from the idea.

In any case, whether you choose to use them or not, the campground showers are likely to be a part of your future as an RVer, and that means it is a good idea to have some special tips and tricks on hand when you do find yourself seeking out the nearest bathhouse.

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Below are a few of our favorite tips for these occasions. Pick and choose what you like and have a splashing good time getting clean during your travel adventures.

1. Bring a five-gallon bucket

Most people pack their shampoo and soap in a shower caddy or bag. However, by packing these things in a 5-gallon bucket, you can give yourself a leg up in the campground shower game.

These handy buckets can be used as a small stool to sit on while you wait your turn, dry your feet, or put your shoes on after you bathe.

5 Gallon Bucket
Image source: YouTube

They also make a great little table to put your toiletries on when there is no shelf available, and by drilling some holes in the bottom and sides, you can ensure mildew will not be a problem.

2. Purchase some flip-flops

Some campground shower floors can be questionable to say the least. In order to protect your feet from any nasty things that might be lurking on the floor, invest in a cheap pair of flip-flops to wear while you shower.

3. Invest in an over-the-door hook

Some of the more primitive showers out there are lacking a simple hook to hang your towel and clothes. This can be incredibly frustrating, as it means you’re left with nowhere to put your things.

Towel Hook
Image source: Amazon

Instead of dealing with this issue, simply purchase a set of over-the-door hooks. These can be put over the stall door or wall, and will hold all of your things up off the floor while you get clean.

4. Lay down a non-slip mat

Putting on long pants and shoes after your shower can be difficult because the floor ends up soaked. To fix this issue, lay down a rubber non-slip mat with holes in it.  The holes allow excess water to drain, leaving you with a relatively dry place to get dressed.

5. Choose your shower times wisely

Depending on where you’re staying, the shower house might become busy during certain times of the day.

Photo: Virginia State Parks on Flickr

Usually, the busiest times are the morning and evening. Choosing to shower late at night or in the afternoon will often help you avoid long waits and a lack of hot water.

6. Take a lantern

Very rarely, you may come across an especially primitive bathroom that has no lighting whatsoever.

However, this is rare, and the problem is more often that the shower stalls are not very well lit. In either case, waterproof lanterns like these are great to have on hand to illuminate things while you lather and rinse.

7. Switch to shower gel

Bar soap is cumbersome in the best of situations. Communal showers make the slippery bar even more difficult, as it can so easily fall to the dirty floor.

Photo: Amazon

Besides, the fact that it must be stored in a special little box adds another step to the process of showering. For these reasons, making the switch to shower gel is probably your best bet if you plan to use the campground showers on a regular basis.  We love this natural shower gel from Puracy with citrus and sea salt.

8. Spray it down

Carry a bottle of spray bleach. If a shower looks especially unhygienic, spray it down with the bleach and use the shower nozzle to rinse everything off. While this won’t provide the kind of thorough cleaning that is likely in order, it will kill plenty of germs and help put your mind at ease.

9. Have plenty of coins on hand

Although it isn’t at common in RV parks, there are some campgrounds and state parks that use pay showers. In these cases, you will definitely want to have plenty of coins on hand. Trust us when we say it is no fun to run out of water before you’ve had a chance to rinse.

Image source: Pixabay
10. Be prepared for the temperature

Not all bathhouses have heaters, and several are without air conditioning. Additionally, there are a few showers out there with no hot water.

Because all of these factors have the potential to make the temperature of your shower less than comfortable, you will want to take precautions by bringing long pants if it’s chilly out, and wearing loose-fitting clothing if there’s a chance you’ll be changing in the sticky heat.

By heeding these simple tips, you can make sure your campground shower experiences are as pleasant as possible and continue smelling great throughout your adventures.

Also be sure to check out these other great uses for a five-gallon bucket