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2024 Oregon Trail’R TerraDrop Alpha Review: Off-Road Teardrop Craftsmanship at Its Finest

Camping comfortably is easy when you have an Oregon Trail’R TerraDrop Alpha trailer in tow.

2024 Oregon Trail’R TerraDrop Alpha(Photo/Bruce Smith)
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While water is the elixir of life, weekend camping trips and weeklong forays enjoying the beauty of nature are wonderful mental medicines for relieving the stresses of everyday life. Life gets even better when you can camp in comfort far away from the hustle and bustle of the city and suburbia. One such method to do just that is hooking up to an Oregon Trail’R TerraDrop Alpha (TDA) camp trailer, which provides a great way to travel light, be self-sufficient, and be well-rested every day.

Oregon Trail’R’s TDA (base MSRP $24,000) is a light, robust, and comfortable squaredrop “off-road” trailer that’s perfectly suited for setting up camp off the grid — or anywhere else the adventure spirit takes you. It’s well built, towable by most AWD and 4WD vehicles, has nearly 2 feet of ground clearance, and has a waterproof body that’s a study in fine woodworking craftsmanship.

One of the beauties of the 2024 TerraDrop Alpha is that it’s just 13 feet long and less than 7 feet wide. This means it can be parked just as easily in a single-car garage as it can be set up in a tiny campsite out in the middle of nowhere.

If you love exploring backroads and camping under the stars, enjoy a variety of outdoor interests, savor cooking camp meals, and relish resting in quiet comfort, the TDA checks off a lot of boxes at a very reasonable price in today’s overland trailer market.

In short: Oregon Trail’R’s TerraDrop Alpha is a rugged, smartly designed, squaredrop-style, off-road-capable camp trailer built with considerable attention to making the body waterproof and stout enough for extensive boondocking. Value for the dollar, the TDA is hard to beat.

Oregon Trail’R TerraDrop Alpha


  • Length/Width/Height (to top of rack bars) 13’ / 6’8” / 6’4”
  • UVW (empty)  1,640 lbs.
  • GVWR (loaded)  3,500 lbs.
  • Suspension Independent torsion axle
  • Fresh water  16 gals.
  • Sleeps 2
  • MSRP Starting at $24,000 (Deluxe model tested: $35,500)


  • Quiet interior
  • 20” of ground clearance
  • Queen-size mattress
  • Excellent cabinet work
  • Heavy-duty chassis w/articulating hitch
  • Armor-like waterproof exterior coating
  • Watertight/dustproof galley lid


  • No inverter
  • No fridge/freezer
  • No solar options

2024 Oregon Trail’R TerraDrop Alpha Review

There’s a certain sense of pride when you can have the camp trailer set up in less than 5 minutes after reaching your backcountry destination. That’s one of the benefits of having an Oregon Trail’R TerraDrop Alpha squaredrop trailer.

2024 Oregon Trail’R TerraDrop Alpha
The author sets up camp. The TerraDrop Alpha off-road trailer has a locker on the tongue as well as storage inside the cabin and in the galley area; (photo/Bruce Smith)

The Deluxe model I tested is the top-level trim package in the TerraDrop Alpha line. It’s loaded with a lot of convenience features the lower-priced Base ($24,000) and Standard ($26,795) trims don’t offer.

The Deluxe level TDA adds such niceties as an onboard 16-gallon fresh water system, lithium battery, solar panel prep, awning, built-in two-burner propane stove with an 11-gallon tank, exterior light package, front cargo box, 7-gallon Road Shower, and a pair of Rotopax external water packs.

These items make camping life much more convenient and comfortable. This is especially true when the camp outing stretches out from a 2-day weekend to a week on the trail or in the boondocks.

An Exterior as Tough as Nails

One of the many features that make the high-end TDA stand out among a large field of off-road camp trailers is the way Oregon Trail’R designed and built the body. Instead of using aluminum or fiberglass, the Christianson brothers, who started their company a decade ago, leaned heavily on their expertise in teardrop off-road camping, building custom cabinets, and metalworking skills.

“One thing we do want to make clear though is that our definition of ‘high-end’ has more to do with our build quality, material quality, and beautiful designs, than with ‘trim level,’” says Jon Christianson.

“My brother Sawyer and I both agreed that what we wanted was to build beautiful campers that will still be on the road 30 years from now and longer. We want our teardrops to become heirlooms that get passed from generation to generation in good, serviceable condition.”

To that end, the TDA body, like those of the other models in the OT line, is fabricated from the highest grade of void-less Baltic birch plywood available. Each piece is then precision cut via a computer-aided design (CAD) machine, after which all end-grain areas are sealed with multiple layers of waterproof penetrating epoxy, a technique from the boat-building industry.

2024 Oregon Trail’R TerraDrop Alpha
Oregon Trail’R uses its proprietary Line-X exterior coating called “Alpha” to make the body waterproof and give it armor-like protection; (photo/Bruce Smith)

The Making of a Waterproof Body

Once all the pieces are finished, the body is put together like a giant custom cabinet. It uses dado and rabbet joinery everywhere possible to create an ultra-strong and stiff body.

That stiffness and waterproof design are enhanced by the application of a special armor-like coating OT calls its “Alpha” coating. The Alpha coating is a triple-thick and specially formulated version of the popular Line-X coating used in pickup beds.

“To us, one of the most important aspects of camper production is water-proofing,” explains Jon Christianson. “Since the most common demise of camp trailers is dry-rot, which is the result of a leak from the use of sub-par sealants and poor quality control, we go the extra mile by using multiple layers of high-quality sealants and paying close attention to every build detail.”

A Good Night’s Sleep

2024 Oregon Trail’R TerraDrop Alpha
The TerraDrop Alpha comes standard with thick foam pads that slide together to form a comfy queen-size sleeping area. The Baltic birch interior has cabinets with adjustable shelves; (photo/Bruce Smith)

What stood out to me while camping in the TDA is how soothing sleeping inside a wood body is and how well the wood and special exterior coating reduce external noises.

2024 Oregon Trail’R TerraDrop Alpha
A ceiling vent fan, adjustable LED lighting, and cabinets are just a few of the features in the TerraDrop’s cozy interior; (photo/Oregon Trail’R)

The two-piece foam mattress is thick and comfortable, with plenty of legroom for 6-foot campers to stretch out and relax thanks to the little bump-out at the front of the trailer’s body. The mattresses also reconfigure to make a nice seat, and both doors have thick gaskets to prevent water and dust intrusion during travel.

Rear Galley High on Functionality

2024 Oregon Trail’R TerraDrop Alpha
A high trunk lid and a good design of compartments and adjustable shelving give the TerraDrop Alpha a very functional galley. The camp stove is mounted to the back of the cupboard door on the far left; (photo; Oregon Trail’R)

Anyone who spends much time camping knows the galley is an integral hub of activity during the day as meals are prepped and cooked, followed by dishes being cleaned. The TerraDrop Alpha excels in this area.

First, the rear trunk lid, which is held up by springs on the side instead of struts, is very well sealed against water and dust intrusion. It also raises high to provide a good “ceiling” to work under with adjustable LED lighting.

2024 Oregon Trail’R TerraDrop Alpha
The Deluxe level of the TerraDrop Alpha includes a built-in two-burner suburban camp stove fed by an 11-pound propane tank mounted on the exterior; (photo/Oregon Trail’R)

The TDA galley area shows off the exceptional Baltic birch woodwork with its smooth edges and multiple configurations in the adjustable upper shelving. The street-side cabinet above the countertop stores a flip-down two-burner camp stove in the Deluxe model, while in the Base and Standard models, the cabinet is storage with an option for the built-in stove.

The galley is nicely designed and has little nooks and storage areas above the Formica counter for bottles of wine, condiments, dishes, cups, and utensils. Underneath the counter and stainless sink is a deep storage area that’s perfect for pots and pans.

2024 Oregon Trail’R TerraDrop Alpha
Rear galley Oregon Trail’R TDA; (photo/Bruce Smith)

Short on Popular Options

The only area where the TerraDrop Alpha may fall short in some buyers’ minds is the lack of a freezer or fridge in the galley — even as a factory-installed option. The reasoning for not offering a freezer or fridge (or a slide-out for one) is to maximize space in the small footprint.

“We find that it’s best to keep a good quality cooler or refrigerator separate from the trailer body,” says Jon Christianson. “In our opinion — compared to what’s on the market nowadays — we would rather offer our clients more interior and exterior storage space and less draw on the battery.”

2024 Oregon Trail’R TerraDrop Alpha
(Photo/Bruce Smith)

Let the Buyer Make the Expensive Choices

Another area where Oregon Trail’R leaves it up to the buyer to do their own research, purchase, and installation is in the external electrical arena. No inverters, solar controllers, or shore power hookups are currently offered as upgrades or options on Oregon Trail’R’s models.

The logic of OT’s reluctance to install solar panels on their trailers as many of its competitors do is simple: You can keep the trailer in the shade and the portable solar panel(s) in the sun much easier than constantly repositioning the trailer. “It’s a more affordable and functional way of doing things,” says Sawyer Christianson.

Rooftop tents are another item that’s not on the options list at Oregon Trail’R. It will install a customer’s rooftop tent on a new trailer but doesn’t provide in-house sales of them.

2024 Oregon Trail’R TerraDrop Alpha
High ground clearance and 31-inch all-terrain tires, along with a Class 3 receiver hitch to carry bicycles or a small mototrcycle, make the TerraDrop Alpha camp trailer a good choice for outdoor adventurers; (photo/Bruce Smith)

Strong Off-Road Chassis Design

The body of the TerraDrop Alpha is as strong as any of its metal and fiberglass brethren. So is the frame it sits on.

The chassis is a 2×2-inch square-tube off-road chassis that is powder-coated and fitted with an articulating hitch that allows the trailer to swivel, pivot, and rotate separately from the tow vehicle. All-terrain tires are mounted on a Timbren 5,200-pound axle-less independent suspension, which helps damp the impacts of off-pavement travel.

At the rear is a 2-inch accessory receiver so bike racks and cargo carriers can be installed if and when needed.

2024 Oregon Trail’R TerraDrop Alpha
Ford’s new Bronco Raptor easily tows the 3,500-pound GVWR TerraDrop Alpha, as would many other AWD/4WD SUVs, crossovers, and mid-size pickups; (photo/Bruce Smith)

We towed the 2024 TDA behind a 2024 Ford Bronco Raptor and the trailer tracked perfectly over all types of on-road and off-pavement conditions. The light weight of the TDA makes it an ideal trailer for use behind smaller SUVs, crossovers, and mid-size pickups, too.

Oregon Trail’R TerraDrop Alpha: Final Thoughts

Oregon Trail’R’s TerraDrop Alpha is one of five models in the OT stable. It’s the Eugene, Ore., company’s premium-level, overlanding trailer that’s built to last for decades of hard, off-the-grid, off-road use. One would be hard-pressed to find a better-designed, better-built wood teardrop/squaredrop trailer, and one that could easily be passed on for the next generation to enjoy.

2024 Oregon Trail’R TerraDrop Alpha
The TerraDrop Alpha has a small footprint so it can be easily set up anywhere the tow vehicle can go. It’s designed for off-grid camping in all seasons; (photo/Bruce Smith)

The attention to making this trailer body waterproof, and making it rigid enough to withstand years of use in more demanding conditions is evident by the way the Christianson brothers have melded the best of boat building and custom cabinetry into the build process. As a result, the TerraDrop Alpha maximizes storage and living space while offering a galley that is thoughtfully laid out.

Pricing starts at $24,000 for the basic model. A mid-level trim, like the one we tested, has an MSRP closer to $36,000.

2024 Oregon Trail’R TerraDrop Alpha
The narrow wheelbase, high ground clearance, and light weight makes the Oregon Trail’R TerraDrop Alpha well-suited for off-pavement exploration and adventure; (photo/Oregon Trail’R)
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