Swiss RV and motorcycle rental firm Moturis Ltd. plans to attract more American customers because its international business decreased a lot last year, said Patrick Braendli, vice president for the firm’s U.S. operations.

Currently, Moturis, based in Zurich, Switzerland, is the No. 3 RV rental firm in the U.S., behind Cruise America, Mesa, Ariz., and El Monte RV, Santa Fe Springs, Calif., Braendli said.

The company has eight locations in the U.S.: Boston, Chicago, Denver, Fort Lauderdale/Miami, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, New York and San Francisco.

Until 2001, around 70% of Moturis’ business in the U.S. involved tourists from abroad who booked through international tour companies, Braendli said.

To expand its U.S. business, Moturis will advertise in the Yellow Pages of telephone directories, place ads on its vehicles and get placement at the top of the lists generated by Internet search engines, Braendli said.

Moturis will expand its motorhome rental fleet to around 700 units this summer, from the current 500 units, Braendli said.

The company will add Winnebago’s Sightseer 32-foot gas Class A and R-Vision’s Trail-Lite B-Plus to its fleet in April. The company also rents Thor’s Four Winds 5000 Class C and Fleetwood’s Flair Class A and Jamboree Class C.

Moturis, which also rents Harley-Davidson, Honda and BMW motorcycles, keeps motorhomes in its fleet for 18 months before attempting to sell them as used units. The company will sell used motorhomes itself or wholesale them to a dealer for eventual retail sale. Braendli described Moturis’ used motorhome sales activity as “very good.”

The Boston operation, which opened at the end of 2000, is the newest for Moturis, said Braendli, who is based in Los Angeles. Its second-newest location is Chicago, which opened in early 2000.