Campground Bathhouse 101: Everything You Need to Know

If you find yourself heading to the campground bathhouse during your next camping trip, here are some handy tips to keep in mind.

Disney Fort Wilderness Bathhouse

The campground bathhouse.

We have experienced all kinds of bathhouses. Most campgrounds offer at least one bathhouse for campers to use. Some of these buildings house both bathroom and shower facilities under the same roof. Other campgrounds have these amenities separated. Some campgrounds have sinks on the outside of their bathhouses for things like washing dishes.

Who Uses Campground Bathhouses?

In short, anyone and everyone can use the bathhouses! Tent campers will be the most obvious visitors, as they do not have bathroom or shower facilities at their campsites. Campers with pop-campers typically have sinks in their campers but not toilets or showers.

Sometimes even the RV campers who have bathrooms in their rig will use the bathhouses. RV bathrooms tend to be on the smaller side, many times with cramped shower spaces that are hard to maneuver around in. Hot water heaters in many travel trailers are tiny and hot water might not last long enough for a full shower, depending on how long you take.

No matter what your camper bathroom situation is (or isn’t), there are some handy tips to keep in mind if you plan to use the campground bathhouse.

Knoebels Campground Bathhouse

Campground Bathhouse Tips and Things to Bring

Lightweight Backpack – It’s a great idea to use a bag or lightweight backpack to carry your clean clothes and towel in on your way to the bathhouse. After your shower, you can use the bag to carry your dirty laundry back to your campsite.

Caddy – Pick up a plastic caddy to carry your shampoo and other toiletries to and from the bathhouse. A plastic caddy can be placed right inside the shower and give you quick and easy access to your supplies. A plastic sandwich bag is handy for storing bars of soap.

Shower Shoes – Whenever you use a communal shower facility, it’s a good idea to wear some type of waterproof shoes. Showers are harbingers for dirt and various contagious fungal foot ailments. Unless it’s your own shower in your RV, wear the shoes.

Over-the-Door Hooks – My favorite amenity to find in a campground bathhouse shower is a simple hook (or four!) to use for hanging towels and clothes. Hanging them up keeps them off the (often) wet floor. Consider tucking a couple over-the-door hooks in your shower bag in case the campground showers do not have hooks.

Money – Pretty rare for private campgrounds, but occasionally at a state park or other public campground, you might need to pay to use the showers. If you are camping at a public campground, it’s a good idea to take a few quarters with you, just in case.

Prepare for a Wait – During peak times in the morning especially, bathhouses will sometimes have a line of people waiting to take their showers. If you do encounter a line, you have two choices: wait it out or come back later.

Make it quick – Even if there wasn’t anyone waiting in line behind you for a shower, consider that others might now be waiting. Campground bathhouses really aren’t the place for 20 minute hot water soaks. Get in, wash off, get out.

Consider your campsite’s proximity to the bathhouse – This tip can actually go two ways. IF you are camping and plan to use the bathhouse, you might want to consider reserving a campsite close to the bathroom and shower facilities. Now for the bad: campsites close to the bathhouse often have a lot of foot traffic from fellow campers trekking to and from the bathhouse. If you do not plan to use the bathhouse, or simply do not want to deal with the constant flow of foot traffic, consider booking a site away from the facilities.

We experienced this firsthand on our last trip. Our site was situated just across the road from the closest bathhouse and not only did we have lots of foot traffic nearby, we had a lot of ignorant (or oblivious) people walking right through OUR campsite to get there and back! Super annoying. And on that note, be mindful to stay on marked paths and don’t be the campers walking through other people’s campsites. 

Take your trash with you – Communal bathhouses are only as clean as the people who are using them. Make sure you take all of your trash, clothing, etc back out with you.

Shower Stalls in Bathhouse

Use our comment section below to sound off about campground bathhouses! Do you use bathhouses for showering? What campground had the best, nicest bathhouse you ever used? Tell us about it! 


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