Taking the SUV's that you guys took (car based grocery getters like the CR-V and Murano, or severely soft frame-based ones like the Explorer) is akin to "doing dounuts, burnouts, drifting" in a family sedan. They were NOT made to handle these conditions, at all. No low range gearing, locking hubs, enough ground clearance, or real tires. Terry's Cherokee and Edwin's Grand are the exceptions, but it seemed lack of experience held them back also.
Just my $0.02.