Earth Filled Tires Shelter Question

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by Tarot Farm, Mar 29, 2006.

  1. Tarot Farm

    Tarot Farm Well-Known Member

    May 22, 2005
    Ok, I can get all of the used tires that I want for free; some folks have offered me cash to take them too. I know that you can make shelters, etc. from earth filled I have been thinking about making a tornado shelter/root cellar out of earth filled tires. My question is...would this make a good tornado shelter as well as a root cellar?

    Also, what do you use to cover the 'inside' of the cellar with? I seen a earth filled tire shelter where they use chicken wire/mesh and cement to finish the inside of the shelter...but I was wondering if there was anything else that could be used?
  2. cwgrl23

    cwgrl23 Chief Vegtable Grower :) Supporter

    Feb 19, 2004
    South Dakota
    Try googling "earthship" which is the building method that you are speaking of. I "believe" that the tires can be covered in adobe but I am not sure. Hope someone else can offer more insight.

    As long as the structure is earth bermed well, I think it would make a good tornado shelter. I do not have enough experience with a root cellar to answer that one.

    The thing about tornadoes (as I understand them having lived in SD all my life) is that you would want the tornado shelter either buried or mounded heavily with dirt. If mounded make sure that it is round so that the wind can flow over it easly. The big key is round. Flat sides seem to "dare" a tornado to go through it were a round shape "allows" the tornado to go over/around it.
    Think Monolithic domes as far as shape.


    Carrie in SD

  3. wilderness1989

    wilderness1989 Well-Known Member

    Feb 23, 2006
    Effingham, Illinois 5b
    Just do not take more tires than you need......remember you have to pay to get rid of them. :cowboy:
  4. WisJim

    WisJim Well-Known Member Supporter

    Jan 13, 2004
    In some states you need a hazardous waste permit to collect tires from other people.

    Isn't it nice to have the government watching over you?
  5. SolarGary

    SolarGary Well-Known Member

    Sep 7, 2005

    I think the earth filled tires might make a good toronado shelter. After packed with dirt, the tires weigh about 300 lbs each. Once they are plastered with cement plaster inside and out, I can't imagine much of anything moving them. They are usually also bermed, which would decrease the area exposed to wind. A lot would depend on what kind of roof you used, and how well you could attach it to the tire walls.

    I have some stuff on Earthships here:
    Volume 1 of the Earthship books has a lot of info on building earth walls -- sometimes availabe cheap at used books or the like.

    One thing to bear in mind is its that it looks like a whole lot of exercise to pack the tires with dirt (using a sledge hammer).

  6. daytrader

    daytrader Well-Known Member

    May 7, 2005
    Metro east St Louis Illinois
    I have never tried it or even thought about it till I seen this tread.

    For a hardy chicken coop.

    Why not stack the tires. Fill them with dirt. Then take a round chicken wire tube and put it down the middle. Then will with equal parts of dirt and lime or even dirt and quick crete?

    You could stack these side by side making walls. Then make triangles out of wired mess or chicken wire and fill it with quick crete and sirt to binde them to gether.

    These would act as pillars.

    Now, you would have a rock solid pen that would cost you more then building out of wood and wire, but it would be vary sturdy I think.

    You have my mind thinking now. I have about 20 tires that I have to get rid of. I am now thinking to get 60 more and make a building. I could put vinal siding on it and it would look good.

    With the tires filled with dirt and the pillar down the middle it would be a great storage area. The temperatures would hold for days.

    I have been thinking of a design for my lambing area I have to get built. Or even for shelter for the sheep. I think I gots me a experiment!

    I think I will leave the inside natural tire. I will side over the tires on the out side.

    This would provide vary sturdy structure and heat retaining abilities. Also, they will not rot vary fast at all.
  7. wvpeach1963

    wvpeach1963 WVPEACH (Paula)

    Feb 8, 2006
    west virginia
    good thread
    and gary I love your solar site.
    Thanks for the info.
    Tires need recycled.
    Just don't leave them in site of a main raod till you get your structure built and I bet they would be great.
    Giving me thoughts for a insulated dog run.
  8. Tarot Farm

    Tarot Farm Well-Known Member

    May 22, 2005
    Yes, Illinois does require one to get a special license to 'haul used tires'....I have a friend who is licensed. :rock:

    You really do not want to hear what I think about the gov watching over me.
  9. Tarot Farm

    Tarot Farm Well-Known Member

    May 22, 2005
    Using a sledge hammer to pack the dirt into those tires would be great STRESS RELIEF for me. I could really get a lot of work done just imagining my 'enemies' faces in those tires. :viking:

    I plan on making a dome or igloo type of roof for the shelter. I was just wondering if anyone else had used this type of shelter for tornado shelter or for a root cellar. I need BOTH!

    I have a lot of 'rocky soil' here that I cannot mow or use for a garden. I want to get rid of the rocks too. The soil here is very sandy, so the people who used to own the place hauled in truck loads of rock.

    Thank you to all of the people who provided links, etc. I am going to start planning and get this project started.

    Does anyone know if 'windows' and 'vents' can be added to this type of structure? I have some ideas, but not sure that they will work.