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In the year 2000 an in-house orbital propagator called DROMO (Pelaez et al. in Celest Mech Dyn Astron 97:131-150, 2007. doi:10.1007/s10569-006-9056-3 was developed by the Space Dynamics Group of the Technical University of Madrid, based in a set of redundant variables including Euler-Rodrigues parameters. An original deduction of the DROMO propagator is carried out, underlining its close relation with the ideal frame concept introduced by Hansen (Abh der Math-Phys Cl der Kon Sachs Ges der Wissensch 5:41-218, 1857). Based on the very same concept, Deprit (J Res Natl Bur Stand Sect B Math Sci 79B(1-2):1-15, 1975) proposed a formulation for orbit propagation. In this paper, similarities and differences with the theory carried out by Deprit are analyzed. Simultaneously, some improvements are introduced in the formulation, that lead to a more synthetic and better performing propagator. Also, the long-term effect of the oblateness of the primary is studied in terms of DROMO variables, and new numerical results are presented to evaluate the performance of the method.