I also have an Excalibur 9-tray (no timer : I'm not sure if the timer actually turns it off, but I have a timer on my stove, and I can use that if necessary. Anyway, how long something takes to dry is dependant on the moisture content of the food, the humidity, the ambient temperature, etc.).
I use it for making raw, dried cookies, crackers and wraps; for heating up raw foods to about 115 degrees (so they are still 'raw,' but warm); for making fruit leathers (ripe bananas and any other fruit); for making kale and other veggies chips; for drying raw pâté to make 'burgers'; for marinating veggies (put veggies in a marinade in a covered container, and the warmth will make them marinate faster'; for making cultured nut milks (I add yogurt starter and put the nut milks in a sealed container to culture).
I also use it to dry nuts and seeds and buckwheat that I have soaked and germinated.
I highly recommend the 9-tray. You may not use all 9 trays at once (I do when I fix a few weeks worth of nuts and seeds), but there are times when you may want to put something larger in it, removing some of the trays, and a 5-tray model may not be big enough.
There are lots of recipes for raw food concoctions using a dehydrator.