The a/c drain hose extension is a good idea. I used wire mesh on the end to keep critters out. Also, do the wire mesh mod over the cabin air filter...
Been some debate on this. Owners manual says use for 10 miles a month which is tough to do if you can't get off road much.
Some said driving on straight roads was ok, while others said it is better to skip the 10 miles a month if you have to do it on pavement.
Some said that they want to be sure 4wd is engaging so they periodically run it on dry pavement.
I came to the conclusion that I won't engage on dry pavement. I think your links support that conclusion.