Emergency Shelter II From Coroplast




Posted in OutsideSurvival

Introduction: Emergency Shelter II From Coroplast

About: EE, retired

This Instructable is a continuation of https://www.instructables.com/id/Helter-Shelter/  using Coroplast instead of cardboard wardrobe boxes.  Coroplast is a step up in durability since it is plastic and waterproof.  Cost is reasonable at $17 per 4'x10' sheet from local retail.  Coroplast folds easily like corrugated cardboard.  I used a Dremel with a sheet rock cutting tool to slice one side of the Coroplast for easier folding.  Standard Coroplast is not UV resistant, so painting or some other method of protection from the sun will be necessary if used outdoors for more than one season.  UV resistant Coroplast costs more and is special order.

Step 1: Dimensions and Pattern

This structure is designed around 10'x4' sheets.  Each sheet makes 2 sides of this 12 sided structure, so 6 sheets of Coroplast are needed.  A small hole was left in the top for ventilation. 

Step 2: Folded

The folded structure is flat and light.

Step 3: Setup

The setup here overlaps two of the sides, so this structure has 11 sides.



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    Will this hold up for set up/take down on a regular basis? I'm thinking of something like this for a 'tent' off the back of a minivan for extra space while camping. It might be one night, or several night. What do you think?

    4 replies

    Yes, it could work for that. Since it has no internal framework, the corners make the structure strong, so if you try to span too great a distance without a corner the structure will be floppy in the wind. To overcome this, you may need thicker, more rigid Coroplast to make the structure stable.

    Problems update: the duct tape failed after 12 months outside. I tied cleaning the surfaces with acetone and reapplying the tape, but it no longer sticks to the Coroplast well. I have not tried anything else, but maybe some other type of cleaner will prepare the surface properly for good adhesion with the duct tape.

    Thanks for the info dome_head.

    Have you tried Goo Gone to remove the duct tape residue? I've used if for years and it usually works on removing old tape, stickers, glue. If it doesn't remove it, it's usually softened to the point where I can scrape it off, though this might not be possible on the Coroplast.

    Thanks again. This web site is great.


    It is worth a try. Thanks Don.

    You could also try using zip-ties to boost the joint strength

    Where can I find the 4x10 sheets? So far, I haven't found here in Little Rock.

    1 reply

    Duct tape. It lasts about a year outside in south Texas.

    how does it stand up to high winds? coz it looks like it could blow over very easily....guy ropes and pegs wonder how they would attach ? its a good idea though possibly something to develop into for disaster survival victims coz they are in need of a quick semi permanent (i know yours isn't but with a few tweaks mainly to the material it could be) shelter that can be mass produced and shipped in easily

    2 replies

    A base ring made of PVC conduit adds rigidity to the base, and provides a convenient place to tie it off to stakes in the ground. See this instructable of an example:

    A base ring made of PVC conduit adds rigidity to the base, and provides a convenient place to tie it off to stakes in the ground. See this instructable of an example:

    Nice little shelter! So many ways I'm sure you can tweak it. The easiest way to cut coroplast is a nice sharp utility knife. I used that as a sign maker all through high school. It makes it easier.

    did you use gorilla tape to join the sheets together like you did in the cardboard version or did you use a different method for joining the sheets?

    1 reply

    I used duct tape, because if comes in white and blended with the white coroplast better. Mark

    Thanks, I will check that out. I need some fresh ideas on where to take these ideas next.

    It is very similar to the card board version at
    .  After reviewing this one, let me know if you have specific questions. The pattern and material are a little different.  I decided to spend my time working on a dome version rather than repeating instructions in very similar instructables.
    Thanks for your interest.