27 October 2022

Seven weeks in a Benimar Tessoro

It's not everyday you go out to buy a kettle and come home with a brand new motorhome... but that's exactly what happened to Mr & Mrs Currie! Read their story here...
Story told by Scott Currie.


It’s not everyday that you go out to buy a kettle and come home with a brand new motorhome, but when you do you’d better pray you’ve made the right decision. Having looked at a host of vans at the NEC show in February 2022, we just couldn’t see one that tickled our fancy. “Have you seen the one in the corner?” said Marquis salesman Adam. “No.”…..and there it was. The Benimar Tessoro T487. “The kettle will have to wait!” This ticked all the boxes for us, pretty much as we stepped through the door.


Seeing the van on the showroom floor is one thing, but out on tour is when you really find out if it cuts the mustard. A week on the Isle of Wight. Tick. Hawes and Barnard Castle. Tick. Ten Days in Cornwall. So far, so good! But, can the Benimar stand up to a seven week tour to Italy and back? Well……

Benimar Tessoro
Benimar on boat

We are loaded up and ready to go. Beach Towels. Beach wear. Bat and Ball. Bikes in the garage. Everything that begins with “B” to match the “b” logo on the van. Steady motorway driving is the order of the day. M1, M25 and M20 all pass easily by at 58 mph. 34 miles to the gallon. I’ll take that. Then, the Ad-blue warning light comes on. We were told that it would, and it did!! Kent is home to Warmington-on-Sea (Dad’s Army)..so “Don’t Panic, Don’t Panic!” We park up at Hythe and buy the Ad-blue in a five litre plastic bottle and fill up. No Panic! And, then a soothing cup of tea to calm the nerves. Made in the van, drank beside the Royal Military Canal. Overnight is parked at Dover for 50 pence, with no electricity. With the gas keeping the fridge going and giving us hot water, and the leisure battery driving the lighting, all worked well. Going through passport control provides no problems and over we go. Remember to turn the gas off before driving onto the ferry. There is something about seeing the White Cliffs, whether departing or arriving. It'll be 46 days before we see them again!!

Arrival and departure from Calais is as smooth as usual and “follow the leader” keeps you on the correct side of the road. A nice smooth journey follows, using the A16 and A25 autoroute which is non-peage (no toll) to Lille and then onwards into Belgium. A diesel fill in Tournai, the first since leaving Nottingham, but only enough (plus a little) to get us to Luxembourg where the tax laws make the fuel some of the cheapest in Western Europe. 


The landmark of Mons Cathedral lights up the journey, then at Namur we turn southwards through the beautiful Ardennes to reach Luxembourg, which we all but pass through before staying for the night in Remich, a pleasant town on the banks of the Moselle River. Over the river is Germany, where motorhoming is King and the camperstop in Remich reflects this.


The facilities are spotless, and we sit outside the van for dinner as the sun sets over the grapevine-clad hillsides. The cycles are brought out of the garage with ease, and we have a pleasant cycle into the town alongside the Moselle. Bikes in the garage is another big plus point. A full tank fill up is pre-requisite in Luxembourg and then it’s onward through Southern Germany, first the relatively unknown, but lovely Saar – Hunsruck, then into the Black Forest for a lunch-stop at the delightful Titisee lake. 


Destination for the evening is Meersburg, one of a cluster of fine towns on the shores of The Bodensee, known to Brits as Lake Constance. This part of Germany is as nice as anywhere on the planet and it is always a wrench to leave, but Austria, Liechtenstein and Switzerland are waiting.

Parked Benimar
Holiday Image

With the van purring along at 35 to the gallon, we comfortably make it into Austria (cheaper than Germany) for our next fuel stop, then continental breakfast is served outside the van in beautiful sunshine amongst Alpine scenery in Liechtenstein. Motorhoming at its best!


The van climbs up to Klosters (where the future King had his winter holidays) and Davos with ease. Here, we can either go up and over the Fluela Pass(2374 metres/over 7000 feet up) or underneath on The Rhatische Bahn train…yes, they take motorhomes. The up and over wins hands down in this brilliant weather. The upward is pretty easy, the downward takes a bit of doing, but gives me the chance to use brakes and gears and then some! The Transit handles it all like it was born to do this. And the scenery?? Unbelievable. Overnight is at St.Moritz and then down the Maloja Pass, a testy series of switchback bends, which the van again sails through with flying colours and onwards to the first longer stay of our trip.

Five nights on the shores of Lake Como at Camping Europa, Menaggio. The campsite isn’t the plushest, but the position is stupendous. With some kindly assistance from the owner, we manoeuvre the van into position on our pitch…with more twists and turns than a Rubix Cube! For a seven-metre van, it sure is manoeuvrable. 


Further manoeuvrability is required on departure when we are asked to reverse onto the small ferry across the lake..Super!. On deck we survey the van and the three towns, Menaggio, Bellaggio and Varenna that we have enjoyed visiting so much, and stare wistfully up the Lake towards Gravedona where a day boat trip took us, and where we ate the finest Panini known to humankind. Can the rest of the holiday live up to that?!

White Cliffs

Day 10 finds us, after a further Ad-blue fill up(read the handbook, the tank holds 24 litres), in our tenth country of the trip. San Marino. A tiny country with wonderful views and lovely town at the top of its mini mountain. It also has extremely cheap Diesel (at least compared to everywhere else). Day eleven has us cruising down the Adriatic Coast and my wife Jane finding employment at the toll machines on the motorway. The toll machines are always on the left!! And they are always at car level or lorry level, too..so it’s a hop out and a hop back in. Arrival town is Vieste in Puglia. The weather is warm, very warm. The Big SunRoof has to be opened and the Heki rooflight and the two air vents….and all the windows. The van soon cools down, thanks to all this. The town is famous for its white cliffs, including one Pinnacle Rock, but the sea will be what I remember it for..No tiptoeing in due to cold water. It is lukewarm and I just flop down into it. How delightful. Five nights here and then one night in Alberobello, home to the Trullo House. There are 1500 of these bizarre conical Trulli in the town and more out in the surrounding countryside. Then we are on to Otranto, the wonderful white town by the sea.

Did I not mention the bed yet? By far, and away, the most comfortable bed that we’ve slept on in a motorhome and lovingly stowed away in the ceiling each morning. Did I mention the Shower yet? Perfect for a swush down after a day in the heat! Such things make an overnight camper stop by the beach in Calabria feel like a Five Star retreat, with the most beautiful sunset over West! Tropea, next, is the undoubted star of the Calabrian coast, and possibly the best seaside town in all of Italy and the sunset over Stromboli volcanic island is one of the trips best sights.


We are 1700 miles from home and continue our holiday heading homeward. Leisurely Santa Maria di Castellabate for two nights. The Greek ruins at Paestum. Camping Sant’Antonio near Sorrento gives us access to Amalfi. Positano. Capri. Vesuvius. A rollcall of some of Italy’s finest places. The campsite also gives us a windfall of walnuts! We’re then up through Lazio into Tuscany where, at Pisa, we visit the Campo dei Miracli, the field of miracles where leans the Torre Pendente, the Leaning Tower. Then a night in beautiful Lucca, before finishing our Great Italian Adventure, our Giro D’Itallia, our Italian Job, in no finer surroundings than the Italian Riviera in Liguria. The five seaside villages known as the Cinque Terre, and classy Portofino and the fine beaches at Sestri Levante.

Tessoro Motorhome

The holiday has been everything we could have dreamt of and more. And did I mention how wonderful the Benimar Tessoro T487 has been? It has been with us every step of the way!


Thank you Adam, for pointing us in the direction of our wonderful van. Now, where is that kettle? More importantly, where shall we go next? Anyone for Greece?