I would “normally” have driven and tested a vehicle for months before an adventure like this. The new 4Runner got about 150 local miles only. They tend to look “front high” even at rest (rear fenders are cut 3″ lower), but ours, loaded and under the tongue of the Tramper looks so tired. I always test “emergent” capabilities of vehicles in non-emergent places (like snow handling in a parking lot). So it was some surprise that the front wheels will skid in hard braking. I hope to re-weigh the loaded rig soon, but I want to get the truck to sit more level. I have ordered new rear coil springs (to go with the already installed new brakes, shocks, muffler, rear wheel bearings, wheel cylinders, plugs, wires, hoses and belts that comprise my faith in this 1995 beast with somewhat unknown 150,000 miles on it).
The biggest safety feature, of course is thought and forethought, but the second biggest is the “low speeds” we are traveling. 40-50 mph offers far more reaction time and stopping ability than what many people use “on the Interstate”.
Meanwhile we roll slowly, remembering “You could fall off a cliff and die but you could also stay home, fall off the couch and die”.