Continued working on the road trip checklist. This time, I had to circle back to a previously checked off item, rear brakes. After just 25mi, I did not like how much brake I was smelling or the look of the bluing on the new rotor. Something was hanging up. I made an assumption and ordered up a set of replacement caliper brackets, Cardone 14-1240.
Despite it appearing as though the PO replaced the caliper brackets, as they still had paint on them and one side even still had a sticker on it, the pad rest was all gouged up.
Not pictured, but this explains why one of the "ears" on an old pad was bent. It also explains why I experienced so much brake fade the last time I pulled a trailer - I likely only had front brakes, or at least close to it. My assumption was correct - I drove the Heep 20mi into work this am, no burning brakes. Bonus, the pedal is higher and firmer than ever. They feel great now!
Also not pictured, I installed a heavy duty dog barrier behind the front seats for a couple reasons. Despite having a dog, that is not one of them. First I figure with a 2500+ mile trip planned with the back stuffed with gear, if I were to be in a forward accident of any kind, I have nothing but projectiles behind me. Second, it will make for a great poor-man's molle panel that I can hang some gear on.