The grit and dirt gets into everything when a haboob rolls through. If you're out in the open desert (no trees or structures to block the wind), it certainly can do damage to paint and such. However, the greater danger is the wind shear that can hit the ground with 100+ mph winds with no warning that can flip 18-wheelers or RVs on the highway.
It is amazing to go from sunlight to darkness within a few seconds when they hit.
If you are traveling in Arizona and see a haboob approaching, the best strategy is to get off the highway and find a safe place to park, turn off all lights (so that someone on the highway doesn't decide to rearend you at 85mph), and wait out the haboob. They usually last only a couple hours.
Years ago I was riding from Prescott to Tucson on my motorcycle and saw I was heading into a haboob. The only shelter I could find was under an overpass. I probably inhaled 1/2-acre of terra firma during that storm.