Years ago, when I had much less money, and apparently less brains as well, I had bought my first house and did almost of of the renovations myself.
I had a 4 speed Toyota Tercel EZ hatchback at the time. I needed a 4' x 8' sheet of plywood and some 4' x 8' sheetrock. Back then having something small like that delivered was not an option, and I was not renting a truck just to get that home (remember, dumb and poor).
I bought two 8' 2x4 studs and put them in the back, with about 4'6" in the car, and 3'6" sticking out, and then loaded the sheet goods in on top. I was fine for about 6 miles, and then I got to the section of the highway that is a pretty decent uphill area. As I am driving along, with every pothole and bump I hit, the steering got squirrelyer and squirrelyer - the load was slowing sliding out of the back of the car, and the shift in weight was taking the weight off of the front wheels.
I checked my rearview mirror and nobody was behind me, so I hit the brakes hard. The entire load shifted back into the car with a satisfying "thunk" into the back of the drivers seat, and then I made it the other mile or so home. Never tried to do that again.
Now if it does not fit in the Explorer, then my utility trailer makes the trip - much less nerve wracking.
I remember you!!!