Miller Riverview Park Campground, Dubuque Iowa Camping

The best primitive camping in Dubuque Iowa and truck camping packing list

I found a gem! I’m camping out of my truck on the shore of the Mississippi River! This $15 campsite is at Miller Riverview Park, 1851 Admiral Sheehy Dr, Dubuque, IA 52001, USA, located next to W Casino. This municipal park includes many RV campsites and a small loop of primitive campsites. Make a reservation here.

My site is #55 and is located on the water. I’m up early and every few minutes I hear a fish jump. The train tracks across the river are active, but not noisy, with a train passing by every hour or two. It’s amazing that one train engine can pull so many train cars which seem to go on and on! Downriver, about a half mile is the Hwy-151 bridge which is also not load but busy with semi trucks and vehicles.

I’m here in mid-May (2021) so the daytime temperatures are 50-60’s F and there are no bugs and some sprinkles and cool breeze. I’ve made special provisions of lots of campfire wood, food, camp tools, and just the basics, as I’m camping alone. This overnight trip was intended to discover if this campground and campsite are worthy of returning with my family.

Besides the campsite needing to be picked up from the last litterbug guests, the cell signal here is super slow which is okay because I’m camping, not working. I have my truck set up for sleeping in and I built a tarp house off the back of it, it’s pretty big about 20‘ x 20‘ with the fire pit just outside the tarp. My shelter has sloped sides to stop the wind which I’ve anchored using two picnic tables. I’ve placed my firewood under the tables. The fire ring is not small and includes a nice fold-over bbq grill grate which needs cleaning. It’s 4am now and the river has dense fog except by the highway bridge.

For this one-night camping trip, I decided to sleep out of the back of my truck using a queen-size sleeping bag and air mattress. That worked well!

Here’s my truck camping packing list for this weekend!

Van or Truck camping must-haves summer travel packing list

  • ice and bubbler in garage fridge
  • Small folding table
  • air mattress with pump
  • Queen size sleeping bag & pillows
  • Clothes
  • Shoes and boots
  • Rain coat and jacket
  • Towel
  • toiletries
  • Cooler with ice
  • Cigarette lighter with USB plugs or portable power bank
  • Car top carrier or trailer
  • Firewood, kindling, Tinder, fire starters and a lighter
  • Wet wipes
  • Camp stove, LP and pots and pans
  • Coffee supplies, coffee, French press and powdered creamer
  • Food and utensils and plates
  • Cups and drinks
  • jug, Water, beer
  • Music
  • Lantern and headlamps
  • Camp chairs
  • Knife and tool box with hatchet
  • Tarps, tent poles and stakes and string
  • Bug spray, sun tan lotion and first aid kit
  • Power inverter 12v to 120v
  • iPhone and charger


My view is beautiful, on the Mississippi with lots of room and plenty of shade. The riverbanks is rocks in the grass and sand and water. There is no swimming here but you could launch a canoe and I see lots of campers fishing! There are lots of rocks and shells and plenty of space to hike off my campsite. There is lots of boats, bald eagles, swans, geese with babies, swallows, cranes, pelicans and many songbirds. The campsites are open but very spaced out and Site 55 is huge so it’s still private. 5 tents would easily fit in this campsite with vistas, however. This campground faces East and is open to the sunlight so I would imagine it may get very hot here in high summer.

Campsite Pro Tip!

Don’t situate your campsite too close to the fire ring. This way, when the wind shifts, the campfire smoke doesn’t ruin your camp!

I love that this campground is 45 minutes from Mineral Point, Wisconsin and in town in Dubuque yet I’m still in the woods— it’s amazing and I love the Spot!

Top 2020 Christmas gifts for the whole family

Top 2020 Christmas gifts for the whole family

This year, I feel especially thankful for a great life🙏🏻💯 with people I love and purpose for good. The feeling during the holiday giving season bring home people and give me time to slow down and show appreciation sometimes as a gift! These are my favorite family gift ideas this 2020 holiday 💕 for mom, dad and kids.

Our holiday gift guide contains affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases to help keep the coffee flowing.

2020 Gifts for Mom and Dad

Echo Auto

Echo Auto

This Alexa enable Echo device works with your phone’s Alexa app to enable your vehicle to have Alexa through your Bluetooth or Aux input! No battery required.

Handmade Candles

Buy a wonderful gift for her that is actually made in the USA. This Fiverr seller offers a variety of handmade candles that ship in 2 business days. This Fiverr seller will make these candles for you in a favorite of scents including French Vanilla; French Lavender; Blueberry Muffin; Apple Cinnamon and; Cranberry Mandarin.

AAA Gift Membership

Want your new teen driver, family member or friend to have roadside assistance and more? AAA offers peace of mind knowing they are covered in roadside emergencies plus travel perks!

Gifts for the Whole Family Christmas 2020

Sony PS4

With the recent launch of the PS5, now’s the time to grab a PS4 as these are on sale with steep discounts! This incredible game console has a long list of entertainment uses including games, music, TV and more!

Yo Ring

We just received Yo Ring in the mail and are super exciting to try this out as a family! My kids love to play outside and this seems like a perfect fit for all ages who like activities! Available in red, yellow and blue single or 3-packs. “Everyone Is Talking About The Pocket-Sized Yo Ring That Sails Through The Air And, Eventually, Lands On Your Finger.”

Froggy’s Lair African Dwarf Frogs BioSphere

Froggy’s Lair African Dwarf Frogs BioSphere

Froggy’s Lair Best-of Influencer Content

I’ve had my Froggy’s Lair 1 gallon Biosphere in my office for a few months now and they give me a calming relaxed vibe. These frogs are the definition of chill. They relax and vibe out and bring a touch of nature to my workday space, which I enjoy. The Frogs have been named Swimmy One and Swimmy Two, mostly, Swimmies. I love feeding my Froggy’s Lair frogs and my kids also help feed Swimmies. The frogs are active but they relax and vibe out often. More recently Swimmy One hangs out near the upper half of the Biosphere on the baboo plant stalk under water. They come up for air infrequently, the frogs seem to enjoy feeding time and are very-very low maintenance, feeding 2 times per week and easy tank cleaning every 3 months or so.

2020 Holiday Gifts for Kids

PowerHaus by Adventerra Games


@hollandale964 & @coolkeller playing PowerHaus #boardgame

♬ original sound – Matt W. Sweeny

Oliver, River and Keller played PowerHaus by Adventerra Games North America. I noticed while we played PowerHaus that we learning quick, fun tips about how to save on our home’s energy bills! This board game provides an ingenious way to teach my kids how to save money by using less in at home. PowerHaus is age-appropriate for kids and teens and adults too (lol). The eco-board game showed us tricks we didn’t know too. For example, we can save on our electricity bill by unplugging unused appliances and phone chargers, when not in use. Reading the game directions is required to learn gameplay and PowerHaus was fun and challenging. We even had success playing with three players! A great cooperative family game. 💯

iHeartArt art kits by Bright Stripes


Thanks to #brightstripes #iheartart for the art supplies! @coolkeller

♬ Elevator Music – Bohoman


The Bright Stripes art kits are the perfect gift for creative adults or kids because of their high-quality and excellent price! Keller had such a different idea of what to create with his iHeartArt kit as he used dots of the paint and added water to make shirls. Watch it all in the TikTok video above. We also tried out the LED Candle Critters creative art project where Toli was able to paint an LED candle-light designed as a Fox! Candle Critters are available in fun varieties like Unicorn, Mouse, Turtle, Bunny and more.

Blue Snuggle Monster and bedtime book companion from Continuum Games

Fungisaurs Dino-mushroom hybrid toys & AR app

Fungisaurs Dino-mushroom hybrid toys & AR app

This summer we first tried out Fungisaurs which turned out to be fun to play with outside as well as inside the house. Outside, we posed our Fungisuars around the garden and in the yard using the AR iOS app to render our Fungisuars on screen! Check out the top #Fungisaurs posts.

Jambo Books Club subscription

Talking ATM Machine by Thin Air Brands


Toli had fun sharpening his math skills with the Dr. STEM Toys Talking ATM machine! This is a great holiday present for kids! Follow Thin Air Brands – Dr. STEM Toys on Instagram • @DrSTEMtoys

Card Games by TREND Enterprises

Card Games by TREND Enterprises

Since we’ve had our new card games from TREND Enterprises in the house, an often asked question I hear is, “Can we play Gemz?” What that, I’m proud to announce, it’s Official! Our favorite game to play with Sami is definitely Gemz From TREND Enterprises. Thanks to @TRENDEnterprises on Instagram for the holiday game image above 😉

Corduroy plush Tiger from TriAction Toys European importer

Whatsitsface emotional plush Kitty-Cat pal


Sami had an interesting and fun time making the same emotional faces as his Whatsitsfacetoys kitty cat. Whatsitsface identifies six different emotions and our plush cat had sam challenged to flip to a face then mimick how the toy’s face looks on our face! It’s great practice for conversations about feelings, emotions, and being human. Whatsitsface has recently even been nominated for Plush Toy of the Year by the Toy Association!

Check out more of my fun content on TikTok • @mattwsweeny and Instagram • @matt.w.sweeny.

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