Rola 59502 Vortex Steel Cargo Carrier Review


The Bottom Line

The Rola 59502 Vortex Steel Cargo Carrier frees up limited interior space by hitching easily onto the back of your vehicle. Its 600 lb carrying capacity is ideal for transporting heavy and bulky equipment. The mesh flooring prevents items from being lost during transit and is easy to clean. The carrier’s removable reflectors enable you to add a fully functioning incandescent or LED lighting system, which compared to some other cargo carriers is a definite safety plus. 

Rola Vortex Steel Cargo Carrier

At a Glance

56in x 23in x 5in

Load Capacity:
600 Pounds

Item Weight:
73.25 Pounds

Powder Coated Alloy Steel

The Rola Vortex Steel Cargo Carrier is perfect for loading and transporting heavy items such as power tools, large appliances, camping equipment, or essential items for a long-distance trip. A general all-rounder, this hitch cargo carrier fits most vehicles with a 2-inch receiver, and its heavy-duty construction and large weight capacity make it the perfect space-saving companion for regular travelers or vehicles with little to no storage space.

Why Use a Cargo Carrier?

What makes a hitch cargo carrier that much better than a roof rack, for instance, is that you have less drag on your vehicle, thus improving your gas mileage. There is no overhead concern for driving underneath low-hanging or built structures or possibly damaging your vehicle’s roof. Additionally, you won’t have to reach the roof whenever you want to load and offload. Overall, most cargo carriers seem to be a more practical transportation solution.

A Closer Look At Rola.

Rola is a Horizon Global Company that originated in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan. They are the lead designers and manufacturers of quality accessories for all your cargo management needs. They are among the top choices for automotive cargo solutions as their accessories fit a range of light trucks, sport utility vehicles, recreation vehicles, passenger cars, and trailers. Popular Rola products include bike racks, roof racks, cargo bags, and, of course, cargo carriers.

Delving Into The Rola 59502 Vortex Steel Cargo Carrier.

The first observation is the hardy design of the Rola 59502 Vortex Steel Cargo Carrier. This cargo carrier is built for hard labor, which holds true to that mission. A highly convenient rise shank raises it above and away from your vehicle’s exhaust, perfect for driving on uneven roads. As with many other hitch cargo carriers, it fits any 2-inch receiver hitch. The large 56” x 23” base dimensions and simple, conveniently placed strap tie-down points make heavy-load hauls much easier to transport.

Another feature that I was happy to see is that the Rola Vortex makes it possible for you to relocate your rear license plate, which some other competitors neglected to provide. Additionally, Rola puts their money where their mouth is in durability, workmanship, and built quality by offering a 5-year warranty.

Rola Vortex Close-up

The function of the Rola 59502 Vortex Steel Cargo Carrier is versatile but straightforward – and that’s why I love it. Once you’ve attached it to your vehicle, it does all the heavy lifting for you, all 600 pounds of it.

Considering that most hitch cargo carriers and trailers produce a noticeable amount of road noise and instability, the Rola Vortex’s anti-rattle pin keeps sound and movement during transit to a minimum. As a precaution, just be sure to keep a ratchet and socket with you to tighten it should it loosen slightly during transit. The easy-to-remove rear reflectors provide extra visibility at night if you choose not to opt for the incandescent or LED lighting system, which I prefer.

Rola Vortex on Car Hitch

Real High-Quality Build And Durability.

The Rola 59502 Vortex Steel Cargo Carrier is made from strong, high-quality alloy steel. This heavy-duty steel is then coated with durable black powder, which helps protect against the elements and renders the carrier rust and scratch-resistant. Alloy steel holds a tensile strength of 758-1882 MPa (megapascals, the unit of measurement for tensile strength), which is higher than the tensile strength for stainless steel.

It is usually mixed with other elements like silicon, chromium, nickel, aluminum, and others to enhance its mechanical properties, thus making it more durable and resistant to corrosion. These added elements improve hardness against hammering, shock, and heat. It is the preferred steel for larger structures and is used in construction for reinforced strength and in smaller parts such as screws, nails, nuts, and bolts to ensure the strength of the structure.

Black oxide finishes are used to ensure long-lasting durability and protection. It penetrates the steel’s surface to provide protection without altering the properties of the metal itself. This versatile powder is also used to manufacture firearms, auto parts, turbines, bearings, and machinery. The bottom line? This cargo carrier is heavy-duty and built to last.

What I Like About the Rola Vortex Steel Cargo Carrier.

Firstly, I appreciate the large carrying capacity and weight capacity. It’s committed to the primary purpose of being a cargo carrier by meeting our expectations in terms of loading space and exceeding it in terms of supporting a 600lb load weight.
Secondly, the installation is easy and effortless. Built with a 2-piece attachment point, it attaches easily to any 2-inch receiver on passenger cars, trucks, SUVs, vans, and other large vehicles. Simply slide it in, tighten, and it’s ready to go. Disassembly is just as straightforward.

Lastly, the incredible attention to design and materials. The Rola Vortex steel cargo carrier is built to be tough and hardy. Everything from the design, manufacturing, and finishes result in one strong product that is up to the task.

And, What I Dislike.

I would’ve liked it if the Rola 59502 Vortex could fold. It would’ve given this cargo carrier an extra edge over other competitors.

Tying in with that, I didn’t like that I had to buy the light kit or any other accessories separately. Including some accessories as an added benefit with the purchase of the Rola Vortex would’ve been a pleasant surprise, especially since the cargo carrier itself is already on the rather pricey side.

Comparing The Rola Vortex 59502 With The Curt 18150.

These two hitch cargo carriers are renowned in their industry. Both are very popular and reputable brands with years of experience in manufacturing high-quality automotive transportation equipment. I compared the Rola Vortex 59502 and Curt 18150 cargo carrier with each other to see which one would take the top spot for being the most heavy-duty carrier, and the Vortex overwhelmingly took first place.

Its overall size and heavy-loading capacity was a clear indication of its superiority, together with the strong build and engineering and the included anti-rattle pin made it an easy choice.

rola vortex 59502 compared
Rola Vortex Hitch Cargo Carrier
curt 15120 compared
Curt 18150 Hitch Cargo Carrier
Rola VortexFeaturesCurt 18150
600 LbsCapacity500 Lbs
73 LbsWeight54 Lbs
56 in x 23 in x 5 inDimensions31 in x 23 in x 10 in
2 inchReceiver Size2 inch
NoFold Up FeatureYes
YesAnti-Rattle IncludedNo

What’s in the Box?

The Rola 59502 Vortex Steel Cargo Carrier, detachable reflectors, and anti-rattle pin. Straps or additional accessories need to be purchased separately.

So, Should You Buy The Rola Vortex Cargo Carrier?

The Rola 59502 Vortex Steel Cargo Carrier will carry the weight of your journey. With a load capacity of 600 pounds, reinforced alloy steel structure, and raised, you don’t have to worry about anything while transporting cargo or equipment.

Compared to the Curt 18150 cargo carrier, another popular contender, the Rola 59502 Vortex, came out on top regarding load capacity, size, and anti-rattle but missed the mark with being able to fold.

In the end, it is an excellent buy if you are an outdoors and camping enthusiast or regularly transport large and heavy cargo. It lives up to its reputation as one of the top heavy-duty cargo carriers.

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