I learned my lesson about preventing avoidable damage by being willing to cut up my truck. The tailpipe on my truck was already a little banged and scratched up, but it was risk of becoming a lot banged and scratched up (or worse). So this afternoon I chopped a couple feet off the end of the exhaust, right behind the rearmost hanger. Hopefully doing this will save me from some more grief in the future. I've got more than enough "trail cred" at this point.